Religious Freedom

We humbly suggest:

  • Religious freedom is foundational to a vibrant pluralism and functioning democracy.
  • Canadians have constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of conscience and religion, of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, and of association.
  • Canadians should exercise these freedoms in their private lives and in the public square, without fear and “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society” (Charter).
  • The Crown, legislatures, media, professional associations, and other institutions should recognize, affirm, and respect these freedoms.

Supporting Research

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.  
An Institutional History of Religious Freedom in Canada
April 3, 2020
This paper aims to provide a historical context for why freedom of religion and conscience is foundational to Canadian democracy, diversity, pluralism, and to our common life as human beings living in this place, this Canada.
Halacha and Civil Society
Rabbi Reuven Bulka
April 30, 2019
In this speech given at a CRFI symposium in Ottawa, Rabbi Dr. Reuven Bulka offers personal reflections on how the respect (or lack of respect) for religious freedom in Canada has helped or hindered the Jewish community's participation in public life.  Offering his prognosis and concerns for the future of religious freedom in Canada, Rabbi Bulka explores examples of cooperation, conflict, and relevant court cases that have shaped the present relationship between civil and Jewish law in Canadian society.

Explorations

London Murders Wound Us All
Convivium
Andrew Bennett
June 10, 2021
The killing of a Muslim family in the southwestern Ontario city demands empathy for the victims, but also renewed commitment to freedom of faith, Father Deacon Andrew Bennett writes.
Canada’s Common Spiritual Hunger
Convivium
Ray Pennings
May 31, 2021
After last week’s online National Prayer Breakfast, Cardus Executive Vice President Ray Pennings reflected in his weekly Insights newsletter on how to pray in public – and pluralistic – spaces. Convivium reprints his text.
Yes, We Can Understand Each Other
Convivium
Daniel Dorman
May 27, 2021
Restoring trust in language goes beyond improving the sad state of our political debates. It’s vital to our common humanity, Daniel Dorman writes.

Media Coverage

We need genuine humility when we reflect on our history
The Hub
July 15, 2021
Reflections on history must always be informed by a desire to seek what is true, and to work towards revealing both the successes and the failures of our collective past. It must also be shot through with a genuine humility in which we recognize that, while technology advances, little about our human nature changes. Before we condemn the sins and misdeeds of our forebears we should reflect on our own passions for exclusivity, greed, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, and sanctimonious ideological pontificating about how enlightened and righteous we post-moderns are.  Read the rest of this article in The Hub.
No one has right to burn churches: religious freedom director
B.C. Catholic
July 9, 2021
Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett, one of Canada’s leading Catholic public figures and intellectuals, strongly condemned the growing violence and hatred aimed at the Catholic Church, while at the same time diagnosing its cause. 

What else are we working toward?

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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