Youth Interfaith Gatherings Organized By the Armenian Diocese of Canada

On January 26, 2018, young leaders and clergy from a wide range of religious communities concluded the first cycle of interfaith meetings and discussions in Montreal, as part of a project of the Armenian Diocese of Canada. The next gatherings in February and in March 2018 will be hosted by Toronto, ON, Calgary, AB, and Vancouver, BC. Throughout the week, youth and clergy from 14 different religious communities representing Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism, and Buddhism, gathered under the auspices of Bishop Abgar Hovakimyan, Diocesan Primate, at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Cathedral in Outremont, to exchange wisdom about each other’s religion, and to reflect on Canada’s religious diversity.

These wonderful 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 Diocese had created 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. In his welcome speech, the Spiritual Head of Canada’s Armenians mentioned, “while preparing the project, we were looking for creating preconditions for building new bridges and reinforcing the existing ones among the religious communities, especially among the youth. We are grateful to the Federal Government of Canada who agreed to support this initiative”.

Toronto, ON (Feb. 5-9), Calgary, AB (Feb. 20-23), and Vancouver, BC (Mar. 5-9), will host the next gatherings, where representatives from local religious communities will come together in a friendly environment to enhance youth interfaith dialogue in our multicultural country.
A documentary movie and a website will be 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.