MARCH 2017 | As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of confederation, Cardus has launched Faith in Canada 150 (FC150), a series of initiatives and events that celebrate the role faith has played in shaping this nation. FC150 is above all about memory and awareness of this foundational role.
Faith has given shape to a Canada that stands apart in a world deeply scarred by conflict, prejudice, and brutality. Having given the country that shape, faith continues to nurture and mould it today. FC150 will draw attention to how living faith traditions remain dynamic elements of our national experience.
This story will celebrate the role of faith in the formation of Canada’s rich and diverse culture by inspiring diverse communities to ensure their religious traditions are fully present in the public square. It will be told in part by bringing together leaders across private, public, religious, and secular institutions for rich conversation, without any imperative to conversion.
It will reach back to tell the spiritual histories of Indigenous peoples living on the landmass that is Canada millennia before the arrival of Europeans. It will include the sometimes painful, but predominantly positive, account of the coming together of those forces of faith.
By far the most positive dimension of that coming together is the path it opened for the pluralism we rightly celebrate in Canada. We, as a nation, have somehow found the way to unpack the truth of our own faith while leaving space for others to do the same—even when that faith is an attestation of no faith at all. This important anniversary is a moment to bear witness to how our faith traditions have the resources to address tensions even between the sacred and the secular.