The members of the Manitoba Multifaith Council, based in Winnipeg, have been reflecting on how they can address the challenges faced by growing polarization and division. One initiative they have launched has been to bring together different faith communities to learn about each other and from each other. They have chosen to visit three religions every year to learn about their history, customs, principles and more. The Baha’i community of Winnipeg hosted the first gathering for 2020.
The event “Exploring Faith in our City: The Baha’i Faith” took place at the Winnipeg Baha’i Centre on January 22, 2020 with around 60 attendees who were invited through Council members and other networks of the city of Winnipeg.
The program consisted of sharing the history of the Baha’i Faith, its core principles and beliefs, and how the community is making constructive contributions to the advancement of the city of Winnipeg.
Payam Towfigh, Vice-President of the Council, and a representative of the local Baha’i community, told the Winnipeg Free Press: “This is a good opportunity for us not only to share about our faith, but to make new connections in the city.” He added, “It will be great to connect with people from other faiths to see what we can learn about each other and how we can collaborate to serve the community.”
The Manitoba Multifaith Council represents some 13 faith communities, and its mission is to “to promote multifaith dialogue and understanding, while collaborating to serve the community as a whole,” and vision is “People of diverse faiths working together to build a just and caring society.”
A number of Council members and friends in their network attended another event that was hosted by the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in April 2019 with an audience of 200 people who discussed the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education.
Catholic, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Christian and Baha’i representatives are among those who formed this Council, which has been active for a number of years thinking about diverse aspects of their city and province.