Toronto Faith Coalition Prayer MeetingAssociated with the Global Day of PrayerSaturday May 18th, 2013 from 7:00 pmRichmond Hill Christian Community Church9670 Bayview Avenue  - North of 16th Ave.Richmond Hill, ON  L4C 9X9905 884 3399 (ext 255)

Instruments of peace, education and entrepripse to be pushed out of light industrial zones in Toronto

800px-city_hall_toronto_ontarioFor many immigrants to Canada their faith and places of worship are very important. Pastors and parents in these congregations have considerable influence on their youth. Often a congregation is made up of people from the same ethnic area “back home” in the Caribbean, Africa, South America or Asia.   While in their place of worship they speak in their own language and dialect. In fact, being in the place of worship and singing is like being “back home”, away from home. They share their challenges of living and working in a new country and how to cope with life here in Toronto.

In general, the parents see the importance of good education and strongly direct their children toward it. Their youth groups and choirs exert considerable influence in keeping the young people away from gangs and drugs.

Congregational events often end with feasts of tasty dishes from “back home” creating the warm feeling of a large family. Enterprising families often set up family businesses employing people from their congregation and elsewhere including their own youth.

While it is important to keep a significant part of light industrial zoned lands for light industry and employment, a new by-law passed by City Council, April 3rd, will soon push all places of worship from those lands. The Advocate believes,  this goes too far.

A sprinkling of immigrant places of worship throughout the light industry zone provides our city with an already in-use social security net. Places of worship with largely immigrant congregations are instruments of peace promoting enterprise and education in our city. Letting them flourish in the affordable light industrial zones is perhaps thinking outside the box but it is also forward thinking.

Tom KearManaging PublisherYork West Advocate


Ontario's Durham region and religious communities :

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 and Kawartha-lakeshore Regional Multifaith Committee.

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