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Annual World Religions Conference returning to Red Deer

Event scheduled for March 8 at RDP Arts Centre
The 16th annual World Religions Conference will be held at the Red Deer Polytechnic Arts Centre on March 8. (Contributed photo)

Climate change will be the topic of discussion at the annual World Religions Conference in Red Deer.

The 16th edition of the annual event, which is co-hosted by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at and Red Deer Polytechnic, will be held at the RDP Arts Centre from 6:30-8:15 p.m. on March 8.

“We are using this (conference) as a tool to bring various faith traditions together and remove misunderstandings,” said Kalim Ahmed, one of the event’s organizers.

“We gather them on the commonalities religions have. The ultimate goal is to learn how to elevate the level of cohesion in society and acceptance of each other, so society as a whole, along with differences of opinion, can progress.”

The World Religions Conference’s theme this year is “Climate Change and Faith Communities: Leaving a legacy of hope for future generations.” The event will feature a number of presenters, who will be asked to answer the following questions:

  • Do scriptures warn of a time of climatic catastrophe and what guidance do they provide to avert/combat it?
  • Is global warming a man-made disaster? How can faith heal the world and restore ecological balance?
  • Can the science be trusted in principle on such matters?
  • How can faith communities be proactive in highlighting the harmful effects of global warming and support the measures to reduces carbon footprints?
  • Can the recent climatic catastrophes be blamed on the developed world alone, or the developing nations also share the responsibility?
  • Does the poverty and destitution of developing countries have any correlation with the fight against climate change

  • Is it possible to achieve the ambitious climate change targets and safeguarding the future of the world without helping the developing nations stand on their own feet?

“It is a very complex global issue,” said Ahmed.

“Not a day goes by where this is not in the news. … We thought this was a good topic. In this conference we will be learning from the faith perspective.”

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 turnout for the Red Deer event has varied over the years – some conferences have seen a packed Arts Centre, while others have had about 200 attendees. Ahmed said he anticipates this year’s event to have about 400-500 people in attendance.

“We are looking forward to a very successful year,” he said, adding the majority of attendees are typically RDP students.

For more information on the World Religions Conference in Red Deer, visit

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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