Multi-faith Forum, Regina

At the time of the Gulf War in 1991, on the invitation of the Regina Council of Churches several individuals from a variety of faith traditions came together to make a public protest about the War: this group formed the Regina Inter-Faith Peace Committee. Out of this experience, the group extended an invitation to other faith communities interested in a broader and ongoing dialogue to come together in a more formal way; as a result of these initiatives, the Multi-Faith Forum became a reality. The initial membership of the Forum was drawn from the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Unitarian communities. The Baha’i community, the Jewish community (Traditional and Reform), and the Saskatchewan Inter-Faith Spiritual Care Committee soon became members. Muslims for Peace became members in 2003.

Individuals and organizations who support the objectives of the Forum may become fully active members in addition to the official representatives of religious communities. Forum members meet monthly to discuss and act upon matters of mutual interest. Officers are elected annually. Meetings are held in facilities of the member religious communities on a rotational basis. The Forum is a place where all, regardless of faith or cultural heritage, can come together with people of other faiths to promote among society at large the understanding, appreciation, and acceptance of the diverse religious communities. The Forum has been a resource to the Regina Public Schools values program; it also has given advice to hospital dieticians with respect to the dietary requirements of certain faith communities. The Forum organizes an interfaith service each year to mark World Religion Day, and in 2002 organized a service to mark the first anniversary of September 11, 2001. In June 2003, the Forum organized the official Thanksgiving Celebration at City Hall to mark the City of Regina Centennial.

Each year the Forum gives awards to those individuals and organizations which have shown exceptional merit in promoting its aims. Over the years it has organized Multi-Faith Fairs which have given the public at large the opportunity to learn more about the faiths represented in the Regina community.

Terry Marner