The 15th annual World Religions Conference is being held at Red Deer Polytechnic this upcoming Wednesday. (Advocate file photo)

The 15th annual World Religions Conference is being held at Red Deer Polytechnic this upcoming Wednesday. (Advocate file photo)

15th World Religions Conference coming to Red Deer Polytechnic

The World Religions Conference will return to Red Deer this week.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at and Red Deer Polytechnic will host their 15th annual Interfaith Symposium as part of the World Religions Conference at the Arts Centre this upcoming Wednesday from 6:30-8:15 p.m.

The 2021 conference was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the conference in 2020 was held virtually.

This year’s conference, titled “Life in a Pandemic: Faith, Justice & Resiliency in the Age of COVID-19,” will take place about two years after a state of public health emergency was declared in Alberta.

“The basic concept of this event is to bring various faith groups together to create a dialogue and get to know each other better,” said Kalim Ahmed, one of the event’s organizers.

“We have heard when you stay within your own silos, you can develop some negative stereotypes about other communities.”

The conference will focus on how the pandemic has changed us, our relationships with another and our relationships with our faith traditions.

Additionally, organizers are aiming to explore how to best get through and come out of this life in a pandemic. The event will seek the answers to the following questions:

  • What lessons should we learn about ourselves in light of the ongoing pandemic?
  • Is COVID-19 a sign of limitations of human endeavour?
  • How can we be more resilient?
  • How can we come out of this pandemic age better and perhaps create a more just world?
  • What role should faith play in a time of crisis?
  • Does faith help us deal with catastrophic times?
  • Has the pandemic made us more faith-centric?

Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at has been hosting World Religions Conferences for over a century throughout the world, Ahmed said, adding these conferences have been in Canada for more than 45 years.

The conference has seen “very positive results” in Red Deer over the past 15 years, Ahmed noted.

“We’ve made lots of good friends across various faith communities,” he said.

“Also with the virtue of holding this in an educational institute, there is lots of educational value. Professors and instructors give various assignments to students that are relevant to the topic of discussion.”

For more information, or to register for the event, visit wcrreddeer.eventbrite.ca.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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