We share bi-monthly newsletters to inform about topics and issues related to civic religious literacy. Subscribe here to receive them directly.
Our past newsletters are posted online here.
December 2019 Newsletter
October to early December was busy! We designed:
- An Educator Toolkit and recommended resources
- 1 focus group and follow-up interviews (Lethbridge)
- 5 presentations (Lethbridge, 2 in Regina, 2 in Montreal)
- 1 teacher workshop (Montreal)
- Co-founded the Quebec Network on Children’s Rights
What is to come?
- January – 2 teacher workshops (Montreal), 1 lawyer workshop (Montreal), Building Bridges competition (Montreal)
- February – Roundtable (Vancouver), Nursing pilot program (Toronto Area), 1 teacher workshop (Montreal), Focus Group (Quebec City)
- March – Metropolis conference (Winnipeg)
Across the country, efforts from an atheist nurse now ensure that BC nurses recovering from addiction no longer need to attend a 12-step program, while Ontarians discuss the balance of religion and human rights are in Ontario Catholic schools. These stories and more are listed in the selected headlines below.
News, reports, and research headlines (Canada and global) related to religious literacy. Follow our Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts for headlines on a regular basis. As a reminder, these headlines do not indicate endorsement but are shared for the purpose of awareness.
- The Politics of Faith: Does a leader’s personal religious practice hurt or help with voters? It depends Angus Reid
- Is atheism a religion? The Ministry of National Revenue is a non-believer CBC British Columbia
- Church of Canada may disappear by 2040, says new report Religion News Service
- Global Opinions: What Andrew Scheer’s fall says about Canada’s hypocritical embrace of diversity Washington Post
- Debate continues over creationism’s place in Canada’s schools TriCity News
- Iqaluit city council votes to replace opening prayer with moment of silence Nunatsiaq News
- Nunavik prepares to take action on suicide prevention strategy: First workshop sets out goals and path toward putting plan in place Nunatsiaq News
- Atheist nurse wins fight to end mandatory 12-step addiction treatment for health staff in Vancouver CBC British Columbia
- The Vulture Watcher: One man’s spirited commitment to an underappreciated bird Hakai Magazine
- Province argues in B.C. Supreme Court for smudging in schools, says it relates to curriculum Vancouver Island Press Daily
- West Vancouver brothers hold forum to dispel myths about Islam CBC British Columbia
- Edmonton City Council moves to ban conversion therapy Global News
- Community organizer says school board’s threat won’t stop him advocating for mother banned from school Edmonton Star
- This encourages patient abandonment Global News
- Premier highlights religious freedom at revived provincial prayer breakfast Grandin Media
- Religion at play: No shortage of faithful fans The Catholic Register
- Fearing China’s Uyghur detention camps, Regina woman’s mother seeks refugee status Saskatoon StarPhoenix
- Workshop trains imams in counselling: Islamic Social Services Association event draws leaders from across country Winnipeg Free Press
- Point of View – ‘I’m a Christian who pretty much despises Christmas’: How a Winnipeg street preacher gets through the holidays CBC Manitoba
- Ontario Anti-Semitism Bill Passes First Reading The Canadian Jewish News
- Opinion: Can Catholic schools balance human rights and religion? The Star
- Ontario eyes religious accommodations for Sikh paramedics The Star
- Chief of Kashechewan First Nation now also James Bay community’s priest CBC Sudbury
- La loi 21 s’applique, tranche la Cour d’appel Le Devoir
- Quebec’s Court of Appeal rejects bid to suspend Bill 21 Montreal Gazette
- Hybrid Identities: An Exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Collaboration with Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom from December 9, 2019 to February 16, 2020 MBAM
- Contrary to Legault’s claim, one-quarter of francophone Canadians identify as atheists Montreal Gazette
- Victim of neglect and apathy, an iconic Saint John building comes to a sad end CBC New Brunswick
- Clarence group hopes to breathe new life into old buildings, community Truro News
- VIDEO: Cape Breton Sikh students open up about turbans The Telegram
- Humanist International’s 2019 Freedom of Thought Report about discrimination to humanists, atheists, and non-religious people
- Protests across India denounce religion-based citizenship law The Christian Science Monitor
- Indonesian cave paintings show the dawn of imaginative art and human spiritual belief The Conversation
- The Pope abolishes the pontifical secret in cases of sexual abuse Vatican News
Religious Literacy Thought Corner
Here are some podcasts, webinars, and other resources for a more detailed understanding of religious literacy.
- Things Arab Men Say, a film produced by the National Film Board
- McMindfulness: how capitalism hijacked the Buddhist teaching of mindfulness, a podcast from CBC’s Tapestry
Cultural/Holy days (December 2019 & January 2020)
This table describes the dates generally commemorated or observed by many individuals within a community. Some individuals from each community may not adhere to the cultural/holy days themselves. It is not a comprehensive list of cultural/holy days worldwide but a list of those most commonly recognized across parts of Canada.
We wish happiness and/or rejuvenating contemplation to all who may commemorate these cultural/holy days in the coming months.
DEC 1 – Advent begins (various Christian groups, ends Dec 24).
DEC 6 – St. Nicholas Day (Western European and Romanian Christian groups)
DEC 12 – Our Lady of Guadalupe Feast Day (Mexican and other Catholic Christians)
DEC 13 – Salgirah (Shi’a Imami Ismaili Islam)
DEC 16 – Posadas Navidenas (Hispanic Catholic Christians from Latin America, some from the Philippines, and others)
DEC 19 – St. Nicholas Day (Eastern European Christian groups)
DEC 22 Hanukkah(Jewish, ends Dec 30)
DEC 26 – St. Stephan’s Day (Catholic Christians)
DEC 28/29 – Holy Innocents (Various Christian groups)
DEC 29 – Feast of the Holy Family (Catholic Christian)
JAN 2 – Bodhi Day (Japanese and Various Mahayana Buddhist groups)
JAN 7 – Christmas Day (Orthodox Christians)
JAN 10 – New Year (Mahayana Buddhism)
JAN 17 – Blessing of the Animals (Hispanic Catholic Christian)
JAN 18 – Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, ends Jan 25 (Various Christian groups)
JAN 19 – World Religion Day (initiated by Baha’i but celebrated by many other groups)