Faith Communities Standing Together Against Hate Based on Religious Identity

Faith Communities Standing Together Against Hate Based on Religious Identity
Andrea Salguero, Executive Member of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation, Jun 18, 2024 Photo credit: P. St. Jacques

Canada is home to a vast diversity of people of different national origins, ethnicities, religions, and  heritage.  

But today, we see fear, division, hurt and grief. Even more alarming, we have also seen violence.  

At times, these conditions seem to overwhelm or even subsume our common bonds of citizenship,  friendship, and love for one another.  

Yet, there is more that unites than divides us.  

Love unites; hate divides. Respect unites; bigotry divides. Dialogue unites; ignorance divides. Listening  unites; harassment divides.  

None can deny the pain of these days. Yet, we see our common humanity.  

Rather than viewing religion as a source of conflict and contention, we know that faith traditions can be  the basis for deeper conversations and increased cooperation, greater understanding, and shared  activity for a common good.  

This is why…  

We, representatives of Canada’s diverse faith communities, solemnly commit to:  

• Work for understanding, for justice, and for peace.  

• Stand against hate of any kind in Canada. No one should be subject to racism, violence, silencing, or  retaliation because of religion, indigeneity, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, or nationality.  • Reject any glorification of the perpetrators of violence and those who sow discrimination and hatred,  especially in our own communities.  

• Urge our adherents never to allow their faith to become a cause for hatred of another human being.  

We call on the Government of Canada to:  

• Support Canadian interfaith efforts to provide non-sectarian medical and humanitarian aid to victims  – especially child victims – of international conflicts through reputable and trustworthy organizations as  a means of advancing peacebuilding abroad and social solidarity in Canada. 

• Ensure that faith communities have the proper resources for the security of their houses of worship,  educational institutions — including schools, daycare centres, colleges, or universities – community  centres, and cemeteries.  

• Introduce a comprehensive strategy to foster understanding about online hate based on religious  identity.  

• Ensure, in collaboration with other levels of government, hate crime units are informed about hate  based on religious identity in every law enforcement service, so that targeted groups can feel safe,  heard, and respected. To this end we stand ready to offer our assistance. 

A clip from the media launch from the Parliamentary Press Gallery can be found at:

This Statement of Faith Communities Standing Against Hate Based on Religious Identity has been  prepared by the Canadian Interfaith Conversation and is endorsed by its Executive Committee  members.  

Shaila Carter Co-Chair, The Canadian Interfaith Conversation 

Pastor Peter Noteboom Co-Chair, The Canadian Interfaith Conversation 

Andrea Salguero Bahá'í Community of Canada 

Dario Chaiquin Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs 

Sandra Pallin National Communication Director, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  Bruce J. Clemenger The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada 

Akaash Maharaj Ambassador-at-Large, Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption  Haseen Khan Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador St. John’s and Newfoundland  Religious Social Action Coalition Faith Communities 

This Statement of Faith Communities Standing Against Hate Based on Religious Identity has also been  endorsed and signed by the following fifty-nine additional communities and institutions.  

The Most Reverend Linda Nicholls, Primate 

The Anglican Church of Canada  

Rev. Wesley Mills MLC, President 

Apostolic Church of Pentecost of Canada 

Rev. Dr. Brent Russett, Minister 

Asbury Free Methodist Church, Perth, Ontario  

Mike Gordon, Lead Minister 

Bethel Christian Assembly, Brandon Manitoba 

Greg Neuman, Senior Pastor 

Big Church, Barrie, Ontario 

Rev. John Estabrooks, Lead Pastor 

Bonavista Evangelical Missionary Church, Calgary, Alberta

Michael B. Pawelke, President 

Briercrest Christian Academy, Saskatchewan 

Ryan Anderson, Lead Organizer 

Calgary Alliance for the Common Good 

Dr. Harjot Kaur Singh, Chair 

Calgary Interfaith Council 

Robbie Oleniuk, Pastor 

Calvary Evangelical Missionary Church, Owen Sound, Ontario 

John Pellowe, CEO 

Canadian Centre for Christian Charities 

The Rev. Amanda Currie, President 

The Canadian Council of Churches 

Nuzhat Jafri, Executive Director 

Canadian Council of Muslim Women 

Celia Cheatley, Presiding Clerk 

Canadian Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) 

Rev. Bruce Jones, Lead Pastor 

Chalmers Community Church, Kincardine, Ontario 

Jean-Daniel Ó Donncada, National Pastor 

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 

Rev. Albert Postma, Executive Director, Canada 

Christian Reformed Church in North America 

Willard Metzger, Executive Director 

Citizens For Public Justice 

The Rev. Len Goddard, President 

Community Christana Fellowship Church of Canada 

The Rev. Dennis Friesen, Lead Pastor 

Dalmeny Bible Church, Saskatchewan 

Robert A Watson, Secretary 

Devine Street Gospel Chapel, Sarnia, Ontario

Gail Allen, President, Netta Phillet, Co-ordinator 

Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education & Action 

Rev. William Taylor, Executive Director 

Evangelical Free Church of Canada 

David Guretzki, PhD, President & CEO 

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada 

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop  

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada 

John DeGiovanni, Pastor 

Firestview Community Church, Grimsby, Ontario 

Dr. Bill Thornton, Senior Pastor 

Flamborough Baptist Church, Waterdown, Ontario 

Rev. Maurice Hatfield, Pastor 

Fredericton Junction United Baptist Church, Trinity United Baptist Church 

The Rev. W. Steven Mills 

Grace Evangelical Free Church of Thunder Bay, Ontario 

Jay Moore, Chair 

Interfaith Grand River 

Ronald A. Kuipers, President 

The Institute for Christian Studies  

Halil Yurtsever, Executive Director 

Intercultural Dialogue Institute 

Glenn Gerbrandt, Pastor 

Lashburn Community Church, Sask.  

Doug Klassen, Executive Minister 

Mennonite Church Canada 

Liu Lafontaine, President 

Multifaith Saskatchewan 

Sherry Marceil, Chair

Multi-Faith Summit Council of BC 

Zul Kassamali, President 

National Alliance for the Advancement of Pluralistic Societies Toronto Area Interfaith Council 

The Rev. Tula Van Gaasbeek, Co-Chair  

National Christian Muslim Liaison Committee 

Chris Barrett, National Director 

The Navigators of Canada 

Johannes Schouten, Pastor 

Nelson Ave Community Church, Burnaby, BC 

Jeff Edwards, Pastor 

Northwest Community Church, Calgary, Alberta 

Rob Cave, Lead Pastor 

Okotoks Evangelical Free Church, Alberta 

Joshua Bautista, Executive Director 

Operation Mobilization 

Dr. Laura Lewis, Executive Director 

Pregnancy Care Canada 

The Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Moderator of the General Assembly The Presbyterian Church in Canada  

Mark Bergen, Lead Pastor, Sharon Ardell, Board Chair  

Prince Albert Alliance Church, Saskatchewan  

Gordon Ponak, Lead Pastor 

Richardfield Christian Fellowship, Edmonton, Alberta 

Rev. Drew Mersereau, Senior Pastor 

Gunnubingsville Baptist Church, Riverview, New Brunswick 

The Rev. Barry Buhler, Senior Pastor 

Russell Alliance Church, Manitoba 

Commissioner Lee Graves, Territorial Commander 

The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory 

Rabbi Ed Elkin, President 

Toronto Board of Rabbis  

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Moderator, The Rev. Dr. Michael Blair, General Secretary The  United Church of Canada 

Rev. Mark MacKnight, President 

Vanguard College 

May Shihadeh, Chair Sheila Flood, Executive Director 

Victoria, BC Multifaith Society 

Mike Stone, Executive Director 

Vision Ministries Canada 

David Ruis, National Director 

Association of Vineyard Churches Canada 

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Elliott, National Superintendent 

The Wesleyan Church of Canada 

Rev. Dr. James R. Graham, Lead Pastor 

Whitewood Evangelical Missionary Church, Saskatchewan 

Barry Duguid, Chair 

Willowdale Baptist Church