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.
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
Who We Will Become: A Survey of Children’s Public Lives in Christian Thought
Peter Jon Mitchell, Johanna Lewis
December 8, 2021
The Christian tradition possesses the tools to aid the Christian community in asking the right questions regarding the cultivation of a healthy participation of children in public life

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

Religious Bigotry is Not the Answer to the Military’s Culture Problem
The Hub
May 9, 2022
"Have the authors of this report, reputable leaders with credentials and careers in public service, all been so blinded to their worldview that they can write their report without realizing the offence it provokes?" asks Ray Pennings, Executive Vice-President of Cardus? Photo by Philippe Beliveau on Unsplash
This Proposed Assault on Canada's Religious Freedom Cannot Stand
The Line
May 9, 2022
A report recommending Canada's government remove Abrahamic faiths from the military chaplaincy is "one of the most egregious examples of anti-religious sentiment I have ever seen in Canada," writes Brian Dijkema, Vice-President of External Affairs at Cardus.
Defence Minister Says Military Chaplains Will Stay After Diversity Report Calls for Limits
National Post
May 6, 2022
After Michael Van Pelt, President and CEO of Cardus, called out discriminatory recommendations for re-defining the military chaplaincy in Canada, the defence minister took a step to put some distance between herself and the recommendations. Photo by Noah Holm 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