Faith Communities

We suggest:

  • Faith communities provide much more than just religious programs for their own adherents.
  • Faith communities in Canada are active contributors to the common good, to the development of individual and group meaning, conscience, and ethics, and to inclusive communal bonds.
  • Faith communities provide social, recreational and artistic programs and services to everyone in the surrounding community, either directly or by supporting other organizations.

Supporting Research

Valuing Toronto's Faith Congregations
Start Here
Mike Wood Daly
June 16, 2016
Churches and faith communities of various traditions have a great deal to offer to society and to the common good. Typically, these contributions have focused on qualitative contributions that congregations make to the cultural, spiritual, and social well-being of the communities that surround them. Few studies, however, have assessed these contributions in quantitative monetary terms. Even fewer, qualitative or quantitative, have begun to explore how these realities might create a space for faith communities at the social policy table. Welcome to the Halo Project.
The Shifting Landscape of Faith in Canada
Ray Pennings, Jenisa Los
November 23, 2022
Religion holds an increasingly delicate place in Canadian society according to The Shifting Landscape of Faith in Canada. This report compiles data from nine representative surveys of the Canadian population, creating one of the most comprehensive looks at religion in Canada.
Summary: Who We Will Become: A Survey of Children’s Public Lives in Christian Thought
Peter Jon Mitchell
December 8, 2021
A Cardus Research Brief

Special Projects

Diakonia Project

Diakonia Project

The Cardus Religious Freedom Institute’s Diakonia Project presents a series of eight different faith-based initiatives from different regions of the country meeting different social and economic challenges. The Greek word diakonia means the act of being called to serve. These initiatives show how Canadians of faith serve others and in so doing help to restore, sustain, and build Canadian communities.

These Canadians, our neighbours, do not undertake this work for the good of their own faith group, but for the good and the life of all. In most cases they are volunteers engaged in efforts that receive little to no government or corporate funding. When asked why he is involved in one such initiative, a volunteer said “because my deep faith calls me to do so.”

Through the Diakonia Project the impactful work of these eight initiatives is revealed through profiles authored by people directly involved and through more in-depth case studies by Cardus writers. Together they reveal what these initiatives are, who is involved in them, and why do they do what they do.

Often religious freedom is confused in our present day with the freedom to worship. While the ability to worship in peace and security is a core element of religious freedom fully lived it is not the only one. The Diakonia Project highlights that religious freedom is also the freedom to live out one’s deepest held beliefs through concrete actions that promote the common good.

Explorations

Exit COVID: Toward What Matters Most (Two Night Virtual Event)
June 22, 2021
Join us as we Exit COVID: Toward what matters most.
Religion and Refugee Resettlement in Canada
May 20, 2021
A conversation based on Geoff Cameron's recently published a book on how the US and Canada have led the world in refugee resettlement, and how faith-based organizations played an essential role in this key aspect of global refugee protection.
A COVID Cold Shoulder for Churches
Convivium
Peter Stockland
March 25, 2021
Peter Stockland reports on a group of B.C. Canadian Reformed Churches going to court to be allowed to come in out of the rain and worship together.

Media Coverage

We Still Need the Nuclear Family
Christianity Today
September 22, 2022
"To dismiss the married-parent family structure as passé is what author and student of psychology Rob Henderson has termed a luxury belief—an opinion that is fashionable among elites but disastrous in practice for the lower classes," writes Peter Jon Mitchell, Family Program Director at Cardus. Ready his full argument in Christianity Today about the importance of the basic principle of family.
'Staggering': Religious Organizations Create $10.3M in Ripple-Effect Benefits
Georgina Advocate
September 19, 2022
"In an age when society is 'deleting religion' from the everyday, supporting local religious organizations actually benefits the community fivefold," reports the Georgina Advocate as reporter Amanda Persico looks at the Halo Project by Cardus.  Photo by Erika Giraud on Unsplash
Significant Financial Benefit from Houses of Worship
Faith Today
August 29, 2022
"Canadian religious congregations bring the country an estimated benefit worth $18.2 billion," reports Faith Today magazine, citing a Cardus study. Check out the full story if you'd like to learn more about the "halo effect" of religious congregations.  Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

What else are we working toward?

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Learn More STRONG FAMILIES Learn More FORMATIVE EDUCATION Learn More HEALTHY COMMUNITIES Learn More HUMAN DIGNITY Learn More RECENT PROJECTS
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Recent Research
Recent Media Coverage