Durham Region is home to many diverse religious communities and faith holds a place of great respect here. The diversity of religions is welcomed and many different spiritual festivals and holidays are celebrated. There is a vibrant religious and ethno-cultural awareness in Durham.
Religious communities have built good working relationships with one another and with civic government. Within the framework of Canada’s human rights-based democracy there is a growing awareness that interfaith dialogue and collaboration contributes positively to our common society.
Canada has historically welcomed religious involvement in the fabric of society, recognizing that it is a significant source for building social networks. Faith groups contribute to the spiritual and moral guidance within Canadian culture and cooperate in forming compassionate and prosperous citizens and society. Under the policy of multiculturalism, Canada has embraced an even greater inclusion of the world’s variety of faith expressions, providing constitutional support for the freedoms of choice and practice within all religious groups.
Many of the faith communities in our region are actively involved in helping newcomers settle into the region.
More information about various faiths can be obtained through Ontario Multifaith Council.
World Religion Day
World Religion Day is an interfaith observance initiated in 1950 by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States, celebrated worldwide on the third Sunday in January each year. Though initiated in the United States, World Religion Day has come to be celebrated internationally.
Celebrate World Religion Day
Many organizations celebrate the day by holding interfaith events where faith leaders get together to give talks and lectures. People are encouraged to talk to and listen to people from faiths different than their own and to understand the basic tenets of other religions.
In Durham Region, World Religion Day celebrations take place in a different locale each year. The goal of the MultiFaith World Religion Day Committee of Durham Region is to bring all faiths together, not only to raise awareness of the world's religions, but also to find the similarity between faiths and work together to increase cross-cultural understanding and mutual respect.
For more information about World Religion Day events in Durham Region, see the World Religion day website for Durham Region.
The Abraham Festival aims to bring together people of Islam, Christianity and Judaism, as well as those of other faiths and those of no particular faith, to promote peach, non-violence and justice through talking together and coming to understand other points of view. Every year there is a different theme with different events, but it always includes three worship services (Jewish, Muslim and Christian) that are open to all. The Festival began in 2003 and has been celebrated each year since then.
The Abraham Festival takes place in Peterborough, Ontario.