On March 9, 2018, young leaders and clergy from the wide range of religious communities concluded the fourth cycle of meetings and discussions in Vancouver.
Throughout the week, youth and clergy from 16 different religious communities representing Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Bahaism, and Buddhism, gathered under the auspices of Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Diocesan Primate, at St. Vartan Armenian Apostolic Church of British Columbia, to exchange wisdom about each other’s religion, and to reflect on Canada’s religious diversity.
The gatherings were made possible thanks to the support of the Federal Government of Canada for the “Celebrating Our Diversity Now” youth interfaith project initiated by the Armenian Diocese of Canada. The event was organized on the occasion of the World Interfaith Harmony Week proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on October 20, 2010.
The Diocese had elaborated the Project to mark the “2018 Year of Youth” proclaimed by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. On this occasion, Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Primate, gave his blessings to focus on promoting youth interfaith dialogue.
From January 2018, the Diocese has organized similar events in three other Canadian provinces. In January, event took place in Montreal, QC, at the beginning of February in Toronto, ON, and at the end of February in Calgary, AB.
In all four provinces, representatives from local religious communities came together in a friendly environment to enhance youth interfaith dialogue in our multicultural country. Participants learned about each other’s faith, discussed various topics of mutual interest, and reflected on the establishment of the Canadian Youth Interfaith Network.
Within the framework of the project, a documentary movie and a website are being created to further promote the reflection on the importance of connecting youth from different religious backgrounds.
We are grateful to everyone who recognized the importance of this initiative and accepted our invitation.