Metro Vancouver Is The Hotbed Of Interfaith

Our Metro Vancouver has become the hotbed of interfaith activities. Recently on August  8,  the Pre-parliament of the World’s Religions Conference was organized by the Global Clergy Association of Canada, with support of faith and interfaith associations of Metro Vancouver, at Richmond Cultural Center, Richmond. The Parliament of the World’s Religions (PWR), which is the oldest and largest interfaith organization in the world, will meet in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA from October 15 to 19.

We also have here the oldest interfaith organization- Multifiaith Action Society  in Canada which has been  successfully  promoting, for more than four decades, harmony and peace in culturally and religiously  diversified communities.

This Society also publishes Multifiaith Calender with original art work and comprehensive details about the religious festivals and important events of major faiths of the world.  Moreover, it carries the largest circulation in North America.

It was here, twenty years back, the first interfaith clergy association was founded  on earth and  that inspired  others to form similar organizations in their cities too.

The Surrey Interfaith Council headed by David Dally is fostering inter-religious, civil and cross-cultural dialogue on important local and national issues. The Burnaby International Network and Center For Spiritual Nature of Abbotsford  are  promoting social cohesion and harmony in faith and cultural groups.

The Highway to Haven Association of Richmond, under the leadership of Balwant Sanghera, is nurturing peace, universal brotherhood and respect for diversity of faith and culture’

The Pre-Parliament conference was held to facilitate community dialogue on social and spiritual issues, showcase local interfaith initiatives and give participants a ” taste of the parliament experience”.

The Conference was divided into morning and afternoon sessions, focusing on” Climate Change  and protection of the Environment” and “Violence and Peaceful Reconciliation” respectively.

The event started with colorful procession of spiritual leaders in their traditional attire who marched from atrium to theater hall, and lead by Aline la Flamme the ” Daughters of the Drum” who sang and played  spiritual native tune on drums.

The Chair of the Conference – Acharya S.P. Dwivedi  welcomed the guests and invited one after another the spiritual leaders – Keith Bloodworth (Baha’i), Lama Tse Wong(Buddhism), Rev. Alan Wilding(Christianity),  Pundit Prameya Chaitanya (Hindu Dharma), Azhar Syed (Islam), Gyanchand Singhai (Jain Dharma), Rabbi David Mivasair (Judaism), Rev. Susan Kerr (Scientology), Giani Tarlochan Singh (Sikhism), Homi Italia (Zoroastrian) and Sister Manisha Sharma (BrahmKumari) to recite peace prayer.

Dr. Jagessar Das, President of Global Clergy Association of Canada was the MC of afternoon session. He introduced the keynote speaker -Dr. Balbir Gurm and Chief Jim Cessford who  spoke on -“Violence and Efforts for Reconciliation and Peace”.

There speeches were full of hard facts and objective analysis that people appreciated very much. Lakshmi Ravinda, a famous dancer, performed a colorful classical Indian dance that added a new dimension to event. Chief Reuben George delivered a powerful and inspiring speech on “Protection of Environment” based upon his personal experiences touched all.

Acharya thanked all spiritual leaders, speakers and participants for their support. The Conference was concluded with peace prayer offered by the Past President of MAS -Derek la Croix.

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