This Week in Religion 2017-09-04

by | September 4, 2017

“Elim Church began in 1917 as a prayer meeting that came out of the 1906/07 Azuza Street Revivals in Los Angeles which are considered the beginnings of the Pentecostal Church.

A Winnipeg businessman who experienced the revival began conducting evangelism and healing services in Western Canada, and a group of believers grew out of his ministry in Saskatoon. They established a mission work from a store-front building in the 600 block of 20th Street West (now a thrift store parking lot).

“A leader in the early work was J. Eustace Purdie, Canon of St. James Anglican Church,” says Pastor Marvin Wojda. “He experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit and helped form the nucleus of the group that became our church.””


“For three months, the federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world.

The evacuations, spearheaded by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, fall outside the conventions of international law and could further impair already tense relations between Russia and Canada. But the Liberal government decided to act regardless.

As of this week, 22 people – about a third of those who were being sheltered in Russian safe houses – are now in Toronto and other Canadian cities. Several others are expected to arrive in the coming days or weeks.”


“The battle has been expected and feared for weeks.

As former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan prepared last Thursday to release a year-long study on the ethnic turmoil that has plagued Burma’s northwestern Rakhine state, Burma’s military was already stepping up preparations for new “clearance operations” against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

For two months, Burma’s military had been increasing troop levels in Rakhine state and had reportedly armed radical Buddhist militias that demand the expulsion of the Rohingya.

Since late July a number of Rohingya communities had been blockaded by the militias, preventing people from going to work or fetching food and water.”


“Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were in Camrose on the weekend hoping to dispel inaccurate stereotypes and characterizations of their faith.

The group held a Qur’an open house at the Camrose Public Library on Saturday afternoon, giving interested members of the public an opportunity to ask questions about their faith and any misconceptions they may have.

“Our goal here today is to present the true teaching of Islam and the Holy Qur’an,” said Abdul Khawaja, a missionary with the group. “We’re here to spread the true message.”

The group had a 15-minute presentation and translated copies of the Qur’an on hand. It was a unique opportunity for Camrosians to find out a little more about the religion and some of the inter-faith issues the world is dealing with. There are 24 churches listed on the City of Camrose website, but the closest mosque is in Edmonton.”


“Muslim-Albertans invited all Calgarians to learn about their religion and dispel misconceptions surrounding Islam at the 10th-annual Muslim Heritage Day celebrations.

Hundreds gathered to take in some Muslim culture at Olympic Plaza on Saturday, including food, art, performances and even installations teaching the history of the Islamic faith.

There have been a number of anti-Muslim rallies in Calgary this summer, but Imrana Mohiuddin, president of the Islamic Circle of North America Calgary (ICNA), says Muslim Heritage Day is a chance to strengthen the ties between communities in Calgary.”


“OTTAWA — A gay MP who recently travelled to Ghana said he’s hoping to meet the Winnipeg LGBTTQ* refugees pushing for human rights in their home country.

“I’m looking forward to meeting them,” Rob Oliphant said in an interview Friday, a day after returning from West Africa. “I think I now have a good sense of the country that they’re coming from.”

As co-chair of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association, the Liberal MP was among six parliamentarians who spoke with government officials, activists and civil society groups in both Ghana and Gambia.”


“Jagmeet Singh wears a turban as mandated under the code of conduct for Sikh males.

It is an article of faith, sacred, steeped in tradition and martial history, essentially intended to protect hair that must be kept in a natural, unaltered state: Uncut.

(It should be noted that in India, home to 22 million Sikhs, roughly half the male population do not wear a turban.)”


“My grandmother Alice had seven children. She taught me what it meant to have the Catholic Church’s oppressive influence in every aspect of her life, including annual visits from the local priest, who would castigate her for her failure to bear a child every year. Like many in Quebec, she embraced the changes brought on by the Quiet Revolution.

I, along with many progressive Quebecers, hold the principles of the Quiet Revolution close to my heart — none more so than the strict separation of religion and state.

Let’s face it: the current debate around secularism is emotionally charged; it’s multi-faceted, and it’s frankly little understood outside of the province. Yet, as a country, we have a duty to make sincere efforts to understand where many Quebecers are coming from.

There’s no doubt that racists and Islamophobes try to exploit Quebec’s history to spread their hate. But, it’s a mistake to assume that any Quebecer who supports secularism is indulging in a form of socially acceptable racism.”


Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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