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Interfaith Peacebuilding

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Interfaith Programs

Conference on Quebec's Program on Ethics and Religious Culture

Canada, Quebec - On March 21, 2009, 33 Quebec religious leaders gathered to get a deeper understanding of the new Ethics and Religious Culture program (ERC) taught systematically since September 2008 in all primary and secondary schools in the province of Quebec. 

This conference was organized by the French-speaking sector of the Universal Peace Federation of Canada in partnership with the Canadian Oecumenical Centre and the Conseil des leaders religieux de Montréal-Nord.

Among the religious leaders who responded to our invitation, there were many representatives of organizations that promote interreligious dialogue or that are in charge of interreligious affairs within their organization. Many of the participants seemed to be facilitators and people concerned with the establishment of a peace dialogue, conscious that the religious dimension plays a major role in building a peaceful community.

Our guest speaker, Mr. Denis Watters, was head of the staff at the Quebec Ministry of Education that put this program together. He gave a convincing presentation, and participants really felt that this approach can be an important part of children’s education eventually leading to a more harmonious society in Quebec.

This program, unique in the world, helps young students develop a critical mind; it teaches them to respect other people’s thinking, and it provides them with a basic knowledge of different religious cultures in order to appreciate their value.

We believe this program can be a model to follow in other countries. We invite the reader who wants to know more about this peace-building program to visit the following websites: information on the ERC program of the Quebec Ministry of Education:

https://www7.mels.gouv.qc.ca/DC/ECR/index_en.php
and Mr. Watters’ website: (in French) http://www.deniswattersconsultants.com

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