Faith Communities

We humbly 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.

 

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.

Supporting Research

The Hidden Economy: How Faith Helps Fuel Canada’s GDP
Brian Grim, Melissa Grim
September 21, 2020
This report summarizes the first documented quantitative national estimates of the economic value of religion to Canadian society.  The study's mid-range estimate puts the value of religion to Canadian society at more than $67 billion annually.
Who Are You? Reaffirming Human Dignity
Andrew Bennett, Aaron Neil
October 28, 2019
“Know thyself.”  This ancient Greek maxim is popular today, but also widely misunderstood. Self knowledge goes deeper than awareness of your likes, dislikes, and personal interests. To know who you are, is to know what you are.  What kind of being am I? What does it mean to be human? Do I have dignity? Who Are You? Reaffirming Human Dignity from the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute will help you answer these questions.  
Exit Covid: What have we learned, and where should Canada be focusing post-pandemic?
Robert Joustra
June 22, 2021
Imagine Canada like a car: we’ve just had the rare experience of smashing our economy, culture, and society into a brick wall at high speed—whether through the disease itself or our response to it. And like crash-test engineers, we now have to perform the analysis. What did we learn? How did we fare? What performed better than expected, and what worse? And, most importantly, where do we go from here?

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

Pandemic takes toll on charitable giving
The Catholic Register
November 6, 2021
“One of the largest influences on whether or not somebody gives, and gives regularly, is their religious commitment,” Cardus Vice-President of External Affairs Brian Dijkema tells The Catholic Register in this story about declining charitable giving in Canada. Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash
Managers shouldn't decide if employee vaccine views are valid: federal unions
Ottawa Citizen
October 29, 2021
“Typically, even the courts themselves have been pretty hesitant to decide what’s religiously valid or invalid according to somebody’s belief,” says Cardus Vice-President of External Affairs Brian Dijkema in this Canadian Press story about vaccine mandates and exemptions, religious or otherwise. Photo by Spencer Davis 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