Manitoba Multifaith Council

Manitoba Multifaith Council is an association of faith communities, representatives of faith communities, and individuals from various faith traditions throughout Manitoba. For more information see our annual report.
Native Spirituality

Mission: The Manitoba Multifaith Council exists to promote multifaith dialogue and understanding, while collaborating to serve the community as a whole.
Vision: People of diverse faiths working together to build a just and caring society.

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On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Multifaith Council, I offer our deepest sympathy to the victims and families of the horrific shootings at two mosques in New Zealand. As attacks on places of worship proliferate around the world, it is essential for us to join together to condemn all expressions of hatred. We are witnessing an explosion of racism and violence around the world. Hate speech is supported by all too many as free speech and an inherent right.  Simply put, that means we are not doing enough—to educate, to condemn, and to join together to combat hate. We can only be stronger when standing together.

Belle Jarniewski, President Manitoba Multifaith Council

Westworth 2019 Interfaith Dialogue

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SAVE THE DATE Congregation Shaarey Zedek Winnipeg – Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Winnipeg Bat Kol Tri-Diocesan Committee invites you to join us with Rabbi Matthew Leibl and Rabbi Anibal Mass to join us on this journey as we explore the timeless link between Jewish spirituality, prayer, and music. Details will follow in February 2019.


So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead
                                                   Letter of James 2:17

I first heard about the Pittsburgh tragedy at the Edmonton Islamic Academy of Learning as we were about to begin a day of dialogue between Christians and Moslems. Hearing the news of these horrible killings was like receiving a kick in the stomach. Like all shocks it was disorienting and confusing and, as always, there was that most inadequate of questions – Why! We had our moments of silence but it was some time before I could be present to my dialogue partners.
Read the entire reflection here.

South Winnipeg Sings for Peace
The Lieutenant Governor's Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding 
The Manitoba Multifaith Council welcomes submissions of nominees for this award.

Deadline for nominations September 15, 2018
Awarded annually at a ceremony at Government House to an individual who best embodies understanding between all religious groups. 

Established by the Honourable Philip Lee in 2010.

Send “intent to nominate” email and completed forms to or to 

Or mail to Lt. Gov. Award Committee, 1841 Assiniboine Avenue Winnipeg, MB R3J 0A7 

Together in Silence for Peace

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Print full poster and registration form here
Photos from the 2018 MMC Annual General Meeting
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Photos from our 2018 Multifaith Breakfast with Keynote Speaker Mohammad Rezai
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The Manitoba Multifaith Council applauds the response of the Montreal Holocaust Museum
The Manitoba Multifaith Council applauds the response of the Montreal Holocaust Museum to Bill 62, an act by the Quebec government which proposes to argue for religious neutrality, but in fact does the opposite. It discriminates on the basis of religion, and if complied with, would deprive some Quebec women with basic rights in civil society.
Religion and Reconciliation: President's Lecture Series with John Borrows
Join our President and CEO John Young and author John Borrows for the second installment of the President’s Lecture Series.

John Borrows is Anishinaabe from the Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation on the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario. He is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School. The Canada Council for the Arts named Borrows the 2017 Killam Prize winner in Social Sciences for his extensive research in Indigenous law.

Mon, 26 March 2018
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM CDT
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Canadian Museum for Human Rights
85 Israel Asper Way
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0L5
View Map

For more information or to buy tickets, click here.

Networking Event
On Feb 13th, there will be an opportunity for faith community leaders, pastors, staff, ministry personnel, etc. to meet at Kateri church at 794 Ellice Ave Winnipeg to network and learn more from each other how faith communities can support prisoners being released back into the community.  This may be of particular interest to faith community leaders who are interested in supporting released prisoners, but are not sure where to start. 
Please feel free to contact Bernie Mullins at 204-725-3532 local 2235 to RSVP or for more information.

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Dementia “We all have a reason to care”
A Multifaith workshop for spiritual care volunteers and leaders of spiritual and religious communities
Wednesday, Nov 8th, 2017
8:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church - 600 Cambridge Street at Corydon
View the poster here for more information
Spiritual Health Care Today

Find resources provided by the Manitoba Multifaith Council Spiritual Health Committee here
Statement of the Manitoba Multifaith Council August 2017
Over the last year, Manitoba Multifaith Council has issued several statements expressing our concerns over the proliferation of expressions of hate and neo-Nazi, white-supremacist and fascist imagery in both Canada and the US. The situation continues to worsen:  the explosion of hate last weekend in Charlottesville, VA that resulted in the death of a young woman and two police officers, and many persons injured sending shockwaves across the world.

This must be condemned unequivocally in the strongest of terms.

We are aware that voices of hate have made dangerous inroads into Canada, including here in Winnipeg at Islamophobic rallies several months ago, as well as ugly graffiti that is again popping up like poisonous mushrooms with messages of antisemitism, white supremacy and death threats 

Our condemnations must be accompanied by action.

There is no room in Canada, or elsewhere for groups such as the KKK, La Meute and the Proud Boys whose messages communicate pure hate. Such is the very opposite of what our country must stand for, especially in this our 150th year when Canadians are called to look objectively, and not uncritically, at our history, and together work to build a better future for all Canadians.

Manitoba Multifaith Council promoting interfaith, multifaith dialogue and understanding, and engaging some 20 faith communities and associations, calls on faith leaders, educators and activists in Manitoba and across Canada to condemn antisemitism, Islamophobia, white supremacy and indeed all forms of racism in their congregations, assemblies, schools and associations 

Belle Jarniewski

President, Manitoba Multifaith Council

Statement Denouncing White Supremacy, Terrorism and Violence
“My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh, the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent.” – Jeremiah 4:19

Such are the words of a Middle Eastern prophet some 2,700 years ago. During their time, ancient prophets exposed and challenged social injustice, abuses of power, and particularly violence against the less powerful and marginalized. They did so without weapon or armour – but with the words of truth.

The events in Charlottesville, VA, the anti-Semitic graffiti in Winnipeg, and all of the lesserknown acts of racial violence (including the “freedom of speech” demonstrations designed to legitimate such behaviour), demand a response, not just from law enforcement agencies or civil governments, but from all people who can clearly see the fear and hate that lies behind such actions.

We unequivocally denounce these actions and the attitudes that lie behind them. We call on the members of our churches and all those who embrace the inherent dignity of every human being to do likewise. The words we speak and the words we hear have power – both negatively to radicalize and engender misunderstanding and fear – and positively to create life-giving space and peace for all. To remain silent is to abdicate our responsibility to protect and support our fellow human beings.

We are not all biblical prophets, but we all have power to shape the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of the communities in which we live. It is imperative that we speak out strongly against these acts of violence; that we visibly support those being oppressed and excluded; and, in our own lives, that we continually challenge ourselves, through our attitudes and actions, to help build peaceful societies for all humanity.
+Bishop Donald Phillips
Diocese of Rupert’s Land
+Bishop Elaine Sauer
Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod
Charlottesville: A renewed call for moral grandeur and spiritual audacity
written by Belle Jarniewski, President of Manitoba Multifaith Council
Several months ago, in the lead up to the American election, I found myself at an interfaith conference in Montreal. Susannah Heschel addressed the audience. Her powerful words, which seemed to be a clarion call, seem all the more important after Charlottesville. Heschel reminded us that the root of the Hebrew word alimut — violence is alef lamed mem — meaning elem “silence.” She asked us how we could dare abandon God to these fanatics — and certainly the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, KKK supporters and all the alt-right haters who have sprung up like poisonous mushrooms are indeed fanatics. With our silence, we allow violence and fanatics to proliferate. And finally, Heschel excoriated us…in particular “us” meaning liberal Jews, for having become “so insipid.”
Read the full blog post here
Message from Nafiya Naso, Manitoba Multifaith Council Board Member and spokesperson for Operation Ezra
Photos marking the three-year anniversary of the massacre in Singal, Iraq and start of a genocidal campaign by ISIS to eradicate the Yazidis. Members from all different faiths across Winnipeg came together to remember the hundreds of thousands of people who were forced to flee their homes; those who were not able to escape to Mount Sinjar and whomet unimaginable horror. Men and woman who were separated, the men who were lined up and shot and beheaded while their wives, and children watched, the young boys who were forcibly converted and trained to become suicide bombers and soldiers for ISIS. The more than 7000 woman and girls as young as 8 years old who were rounded up and put in trucks to be sold as sex slaves for ISIS fighters and to other countries in the Middle East. To date some 3,410 remain in captivity. Thank you to everyone who joined us  to remember. Also a big thank you to the federal, provincial, and municipal government for their continuing support for the Yazidis and all those involved in Operation Ezra! "He who saves a single life, saves the entire world”
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A Selection of Photos from our Panel Presentation:
“Welcoming  and Integrating Yazidi Refugees-Together!”
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Response to Brian Giesbrecht’s April 12 2017 op ed on behalf of the Manitoba Multifaith Council (published in Winnipeg Free Press Letters and Comments April 17, 2017):  
"Islamophobia rooted in ignorance"
Re: Religion’s intolerance is why I’m an Islamophobe (April 12)

Reading this article, we are left feeling that Brian Giesbrecht is equally misinformed about Islam as he is about the history of residential schools and its tragic legacy (as evidenced by his many articles on the subject). Rather than correctly defining Islam as a religion, he attempts to convince us that the most extremist and fundamentalist versions such as the philosophies of the Islamic State group are in fact "Islam."

We would expect Giesbrecht, in consequence of a long and distinguished career on the bench, to avail himself of all the evidence available and weigh it judiciously before rendering such a sweeping and condemnatory verdict on the world’s second-largest faith, the insights and intellectual attainments of which are far too numerous to even begin to list here.

Does Giesbrecht suggest Muslim women in Canada do not have equal rights or are endangered? The rosters of law, business and medical schools, and universities in general, suggest otherwise. He generalizes that "a person who renounces Islam is... liable to the death penalty," yet Muslims right here in Winnipeg have done so, and other Muslims still associate with them.

The French government’s 2016 Report on Racism, Antisemitism and Xenophobia, published by its Commision nationale consulatative des droits de l’homme (National Human Rights Advisory Commission), provides us with a concise definition of Islamophobia worth bringing to our attention as "a systematic hostile attitude towards Muslims, people perceived as Muslims and/or Islam." It similarly defines anti-Semitism as "a systematic hostile attitude towards Jews, people perceived as Jews and/or their religion."

Understood in this light, Motion 103 calls upon the government to condemn a systemic hostile attitude toward Muslims and Islam. It asks the government to "recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear," and to request for the "Commons Heritage Committee to study how the government could develop a government-wide approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia, to collect data to provide context for hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities."

Fear-mongering reflects and contributes to intolerance and lack of knowledge. Giesbrecht certainly has the "right" to criticize certain extremist forms of Islam, as do many Muslims, but none of us has the right to be Islamophobic, as that is something entirely different and unacceptable.

Belle Jarniewski
President, Manitoba Multifaith Council, Winnipeg

Multifaith Leadership Breakfast

View more pictures from the event here
Manitoba Multifaith Council’s Statement in Response to Shooting at Mosque in Quebec CityCanadians were shaken to the core by the shooting at the mosque in Quebec City on January 29th.  From coast to coast to coast, we displayed solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and condemned Islamophobia.

In the weeks that followed, sporadic anti-Muslim protests have continued. The anti-Muslim protests which took place this weekend in several Canadian cities, including Winnipeg are an attack against every Canadian. On March 1st, an Islamophobic letter to media outlets threatened to detonate “small artisanal explosive devices” at Concordia University to injure Muslim students, presenting perhaps the most shocking among recent events.  An explosion of Antisemitic acts across Canada and the United States has likewise continued:  swastikas carved in snow, in university classrooms, and on automobiles; more than100 bomb threats to Jewish community centres, schools and synagogues; the desecration of Jewish cemeteries; a bullet fired into the (empty) classroom of a synagogue.

Manitoba Multifaith Council believes that, in these difficult times, it is imperative to witness the support that faith communities have provided, are providing and will provide for one another:  funds raised by the Muslim community in the US to repair damaged Jewish cemeteries, personal messages and public gatherings which are emblematic of the growing concern that Canadians share in the face of outright racism and xenophobia.

Manitoba Multifaith Council condemns all forms of individual, targeted and systemic racism and religious discrimination, including Islamophobia and Antisemitism. 

Manitoba Multifaith Council applauds and aligns with efforts of individuals and communities to support one another, engaging our abilities, influence and efforts to effect positive change and dialogue and understanding.

Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Advancement of Interreligious Understanding
Held February 7, 2017 at Government House
Award recipient, Devon Clunis and her Honour, Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon
Manitoba Multifaith Council President, Belle Jarniewski, Award recipient, Devon Clunis, her Honour, Lieutenant Governor Janice Filmon, John Burchill (nominator). 
Photos courtesy of Tracey Goncalves, Government Photographer.
Standing Against Hate (Winnipeg Free Press, January 10, 2016)
Re: Anti-Semitic message shocks homeowner (Jan. 4)

The Dec. 31 hate crime that targeted a Jewish family in Wolseley referenced Nazi imagery and hateful language associated with the extermination of six million Jews in the Shoah to send its message of hate, to threaten and to instil fear. It is perhaps indicative of what has been happening all over the United States and Canada — certain limits are being transgressed.

In the wake of the American election and the rise of the white supremacist alt-right movement, references to Nazi imagery have proliferated, and the Wolseley hate crime is an example among many others in recent weeks, such as the defacement of a sign in front of Hebrew Union College Seminary in Cincinnati with a swastika or a Hanukkah menorah outside an Arizona home that was vandalized overnight and twisted into the shape of a swastika. In Whitefish, Mont., neo-Nazis have threatened an "armed march on the Jews" on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 16), in an action targeting "Jews, Jewish business, and everyone who supports either."

Neo-Nazism and white supremacy are not new ideologies that have suddenly emerged in Canada or in the United States. Ernst Zundel is well known to Canadians as a neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier, but as early as the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups made inroads into Canada. These groups never really disappear; they simply ebb and flow as events and the political climate allow.

We must be vigilant against this trend and stand together in rejecting this kind of ugliness — and I’m proud to say that in Winnipeg that is exactly what we are doing. If there is anything positive to learn (if one can even use the word "positive" when referring to a hate crime) when reflecting on this latest act: it made the front page. That signifies how deeply affected we are by this sort of ugliness. We care. We are neither apathetic nor jaded. We remain shocked by such acts of hate. As well, we support each other. Within hours, messages poured in from members of other faith communities offering support. And that is the way things go in our city whenever one of us is attacked — we stand together. Things have changed very much from the dark days of the 1930s when "none was too many."

We appreciate the efforts of the Winnipeg Police Service as they investigate this hate crime and we hope that the family that was targeted will be comforted by the response of the countless individuals who care.

Belle Jarniewski
President, Manitoba Multifaith Council
City of Winnipeg to Officially Acknowledge International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Our President, Belle Jarniewski, addressed Mayor Brian Bowman and Winnipeg City Council on January 25 on the topic of the UN designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Mayor Bowman announced  that the City of Winnipeg would be officially acknowledging International Holocaust Remembrance Day, and lowering the flag to half-mast, marking the first time since the passing of the UN resolution in 2005, marked the date. Mayor Bowman and Councillor Marty Morantz, who was instrumental in helping to bring this idea forward also spoke.
Councillor Marty Morantz, MCC President Belle Jarniewski and Mayor Brian Bowman.
President Jarniewski’s address and more photos can be found here.
Take a look at Mayor Bowman's response to President Jarniewski's Address
Ground Is Broken for Winnipeg Manitoba Temple
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined with community leaders in Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, on Saturday, December 3, 2016, to break ground for a new temple. This will be the ninth temple in Canada.
Read more
Digging the first shovelful of dirt are (from left to right) Yvonne and Allan Robison; Sister Lynda and Elder Larry Wilson; Terry Duguid, Member of Parliament, Winnipeg South; Janice Lukes, Councilor, South Winnipeg, St. Norbert Ward; and Belle Jarniewski, president of the Manitoba Multifaith Council. The groundbreaking ceremony was for the Winnipeg Manitoba Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, December 3, 2016.
Education, Religion and a New Canadian Pluralism *** NEW***
Presentation at MMC AGM, May 31, 2016 by Tony Tavares, Consultant, Diversity Education and International Languages Instruction, Curriculum Assessment Branch, Manitoba Education.
Check out the presentation by clicking here
Statement of the Executive Board of Directors of the Manitoba Multifaith Council Regarding the Yazidi Genocide
Some four months after the declaration of genocide, Canada has a unique opportunity to take the lead among the international community to provide safe haven, care, aid and a new beginning for Yazidi survivors of genocide. Indeed, several members of the Board of the Manitoba Multifaith Council (MMC) have been actively engaged in helping to sponsor and resettle Yazidi refugees. 

According the report issued by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner, They Came to Destroy: ISIS Crimes Against the Yazidis, issued on June 16, 2016,…/HRCou…/CoISyria/A_HRC_32_CRP.2_en.pdf, IS “is committing genocide against the Yazidis and… has subjected every Yazidi woman, child or man that it has captured to the most horrific of atrocities.” The report has publicly cited the Yazidis’ faith as the basis for the attack of 3 August 2014 and its subsequent abuse of them.” The Commission urged international recognition of the genocide, and stated that more must be done to assure their protection, including the acceleration of asylum applications of Yazidi victims of genocide.

As a multifaith council, we feel a particular responsibility to stand together to emphasize that the Yazidis are being persecuted and massacred (as they have been for over 700 years) on the basis of faith alone. They have nowhere to go home to, no safe haven and must be segregated in refugee camps because they face danger from other refugees. Ironically, because of their segregation, entire UNHCR camps—some 25,000 Yazidis in Turkey alone—are easily identifiable. We call on Canada to respond to the UNHCR report, especially to sections 210, 212 and 213.

Several months have passed since Canada has recognized the genocide. Since then, only a handful of privately sponsored Yazidis have reached our shores. Many young women have committed suicide or mutilated themselves rather than be subjected to the sexual slavery and brutality of IS. It is time for Canada to respond.

Retired Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire has often spoken of the failure of humanity to have heard the call of a beleaguered people. He recalled that while most nations agreed that something needed to be done in Rwanda, no one stepped forward. He famously asked, “Are all humans human? Or are some more human than others?” So appears to be the situation with the Yazidis today

Who has remembered the ongoing suffering of the Yazidi and the documentation of atrocities in the UNCHR report?

As Canada looks ahead to 2020, hoping for a seat on the UN Security Council, a humanitarian response to the Yazidi genocide would likely be another jewel in the crown of Canada’s recent humanitarian achievements. Let history show that Canada once again displayed leadership.

Executive Board of Directors of the Manitoba Multifaith Council
Belle Jarniewski
Ray Harris
Dr. Mohinder Singh Dhillon
Dr. James Christie
Dr. Paul Peters Derry
Inquiries to
A Reflection on Hunger from our President
The summer of 2016 has been a “summer of discontent” throughout much of the world, especially with respect to interreligious understanding.

Considerable shock and outrage has been expressed worldwide for the draconian behaviour of the French “fashion police” in the continental bikini/burkini affair.  The burkini, a type of discreet swimwear worn by some Muslim women to preserve modesty, was banned in 30 French jurisdictions. Claiming the burkini breached the “respect of good morals and secularism,” a Muslim woman in Nice was fined and forced to publicly remove some of her clothing.

While French officials have stated the ban was a response to growing concerns about radical Islamic terrorism, the burkini is also worn by Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women for the same reasons of modesty as well as by those who are concerned about skin-protection. There may be more ridiculous incidents of religious and cultural ignorance in history: but not many. However, there is a fine line between ignorance and racism.

One needs not travel far to witness challenges nearer to home:

In September, a kirpan-wearing Sikh was denied service in a Winnipeg Dollarama store. As embarrassing as this must have been for the gentleman in question, the circumstances suggest misunderstanding rather than malevolence.

Not so recent events at the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge and most recently at the University of Calgary.

On the U of A campus, a poster was circulated, directly attacking the Sikh community and the iconic turban, employing obscenities in a clear incident of hate speech.

A faculty member of the University of Lethbridge employed a Facebook account not only to deny the Holocaust or Shoah, and to suggest antisemitic conspiracy theories behind 9/11, but also to utter threats of the most infamous kind against the Jewish community.

In the third incident, about 40 posters appeared at various locations at the University of Calgary, similar to the ones at the U of A, but this time attacking Muslims.

The Manitoba Multifaith Council has existed for well over half a century to promote interreligious understanding and the building of a just and inclusive society.

We would ask both the Universities of Alberta, Lethbridge and Calgary to state publicly, and nationally, what steps they will take to prevent such vile expressions of hate in the future. We ask this because the implications of these cases are far beyond provincial in scope, and to be prepared should such incidents manifest themselves in a Manitoba institution of higher learning.

To the business community of Manitoba, we offer our support in advancing interreligious understanding in the workplace.

Among our plans for the near future is the establishment of the Winnipeg Interfaith Business Initiative to encourage greater understanding of religious imperatives in the workplace.

We welcome all inquiries.

Belle Jarniewski, President, Manitoba Multifaith Council
Dr. James Christie, Chair, Community Relations Committee, Manitoba Multifaith Council
Operation Ezra’s Evening to Commemorate the Second Anniversary of the Yazidi Genocide

Candle lighting ceremony: Left to right: Michelle Rempel Conservative MP, Calgary-Nose Hill, Dr. John Young, President and CEO, CMHR, Dr. Clint Curle, Senior Advisor to the President, Stakeholder Relations, . Ben Rempel, Assistant Deputy Minister, Manitoba Education and Training—Immigration and Economic Opportunities, Ray Harris, Salvation Army/Manitoba Multifaith Council, Lorne Weiss, Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Leslie Wilder, Member, Board of Directors, Jewish Child and Family Service, Adam Levine, President, Jewish Federation of Winnipeg, Ted Falk, Conservative MP, Provencher, Jim Carr, Federal Minster of Natural Resources, Liberal MP, Winnipeg South Centre, Cameron Bell, representing Minister Ron Schuler, Minster of Crown Services for the Province of Manitoba, Rob Altemeyer, New Democrat Member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, for Wolesley, Rabbi Yosef Benarroch,  Adas Yeshurun Herzliya Congregation, Belle Jarniewski, Manitoba Multifaith Council/ Operation Era Working Committee.

For more photos please see Events

A presentation made to Dr. Mohinder Dhillon. in honour of his service to the Manitoba Multifaith Council.

Left to right: Ray Harris, Dr. Mohinder Dhillon, Belle Jarniewski.
Statement of the Manitoba Multifaith Council on the Recent Tragedies
The Manitoba Multifaith Council joins the global chorus of horror and dismay at the recent waves of violence perpetrated by some accounts and to some perspectives attributable to the religious impulse, in the immolation of 19 Yazidi women by the forces of Daesh (IS) in early June and the shootings in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in the early hours of June 12. We lift up several foundational concerns that extend beyond the visceral revulsion provoked by such acts.

We acknowledge and confess that all too often in the course of human history religious communities of all stripes have betrayed the founding impulses of their communities. We pledge yet again to stand by the conviction, as stated in many of our religious traditions, that within Creation all human beings are made in the image of the Divine; and that consequently, the image of God in all humans implies that each person has “infinite value, equality and uniqueness.” (Rabbi Irving Greenberg).

We hold these convictions to be universal human values, regardless of race, religion, orientation, or nationality.

We call upon all Manitobans, whether people of faith or no faith; we call on people of good will everywhere to:

  • Resist superficial analysis of these tragedies and the religious implications of each;
  • To suspend judgement concerning motivations and meaning in the face of apparent meaningless;
  • To refrain from xenophobic suspicion of the other;
  • To pursue open dialogue amongst people of differing religious traditions and ideological positions;
  • To seek always and everywhere to be agents of reconciliation, instruments of peace and understanding in contrast to the demagogue urgings of those who would pervert religious faith or human ideals to the demonic ends of hatred and bigotry;
  • To embrace complexity in all aspects of the human adventure.

We urge the leaders of our province and our nation to recall the provisions of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognize the integrity and liberty of religious expression and to apply that recognition to all policies of our province and nation, whether domestic or global.

We remember, soberly and hopefully John Dunne’s conviction that “no (one) is an island,” and the wisdom of the late Rabbi Harry Joshua Stern that we will have “one world or no world.”

2016 Annual General Meeting

MMC Board 2015-2016 Left to Right: Back Row: Paul Peters Derry, Josh Gruninger, Ron Long, Al Benarroch
Front Row: Dr. James Christie, Belle Jarniewski, Nafiya Naso, Rich Ludwick, Diane Dwarka, Ray Harris (missing from photo: Dr. Mohinder Singh Dhillon, Robert Polz, Harold King).
Presentation to Harold King in honour of his contributions the Provincial Chaplaincy Advisory Committee by Bernie Mullins. 

Panel Discussion: Education, Religion and a New Canadian Pluralism.”
Left to right: Tony Tavares, Ruth Ashrafi, Helen Robinson-Settee (Panellists), Al Benarroch (Moderator)
Left to right: Tony Tavares, Ruth Ashrafi, Helen Robinson-Settee
Manitoba Multifaith Council Tribute Cards
Honour someone special, the memory of a loved one, celebrate a special occasion or send a condolence card.

The Manitoba Multifaith Council is now offering beautiful personalized tribute cards for a minimum donation of $10.

We are also offering an assortment of 5 blank tribute cards and envelopes in a plastic case for $25.

The cards make a lovely gift and are great to have on hand when you want to include a special note.

Donations for single personalized tribute cards (minimum donation $10) are fully tax-receiptable.  

For a gift pack of 5 cards, the cost is $25, for which you will receive a tax donation receipt of $15.
To order personalized tribute cards or gift packs, please call
 204-489-3520 or email 
PRESS RELEASE - October 8, 2015
In recent weeks, The Manitoba Multifaith Council (MMC) has observed with increasing dismay the employment of xenophobia – most particularly Islamaphobia - as a political wedge issue in the current federal election campaign. We are deeply disturbed by the apparent support of Canadians from coast to coast to coast at suggestions of draconian legislative measures intended to further stoke the fears of some Canadians of their neighbours whose religion and religious symbols are unfamiliar to them. During the closing days of last week and over the weekend, we have seen not simply an escalation in virulent verbal attacks on Muslims, but two documented assaults on Muslim women.

In Montreal, a pregnant young Muslim woman was assaulted and knocked to the ground by two teenage males. In a Toronto mall, a second young woman was roughly handled by an adult  male while in the presence of her two young daughters.

Manitoba Multifaith Council sees a direct link between these increasingly vicious attacks to last weekend's comments that risk employing religious symbolism and identity as wedge issues among Canadian voters.  We call all political leaders to a higher level of political discourse.

Setting aside our common religious injunction in whatever form to “love our neighbour”, these elected officials and others are concerned only with dividing our neighbours.

To date, the Courts are having none of this; as religious leaders of many faiths, we concur with the courts and their interpretation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians.

MMC recognizes that it is beyond our competence – and beyond wisdom – to engage in the political arena in a partisan manner.  But these are issues of human decency; of religious integrity; of religious liberty; of the security of persons.

MMC does not take sides on the merits or otherwise of any particular religious symbol, including the niquab.

MMC will stand up for our fellow citizens who have been  subjected to abuse, and now to violence.

MMC deplores and condemns any and all violence and incendiary language committed on the basis of religious garb or symbols, and we commit to standing by our sisters and brothers of all faiths – and none.

MMC fears that such ignorant and intentionally cruel, cynical and divisive language may yet issue in death.

Heeding the Irish Statesman, Edmund Burke, we will not permit evil by doing nothing in the face of evil.

Manitoba Multifaith Council calls upon persons of good will of all faith groups and none to stand together for liberty and justice for all.

Manitoba Multifaith Council

What is MMC?

The Manitoba Multifaith Council (MMC) is a registered non-profit corporation founded in 1969 to afford faith communities a unified voice in speaking on matters of common concern.

As Manitoba becomes increasingly diverse, the group seeks to build the common good of the province by facilitating respect, understanding and cooperation among different faith groups. MMC recognizes and respects the differences among faith communities while celebrating and acting upon common values.
Read the MMC Fact Sheet here

In what areas is MMC involved?


  • Builds bridges of understanding between faith communities and within the broader society.
  • Provides the community with information and resources on world religions.
  • Serves as a forum for interfaith dialogue.

Spiritual Health

  • Provides spiritual health information and programs.
  • Consults regarding spiritual care services for individuals in public health care institutions.


  • Promotes spiritual care for persons in the criminal justice and correctional system.
  • Gathers organizations and individuals together to reflect and act on criminal justice issues.

Community Relations

  • Builds relationships with government, media, related organizations, faith communities and the larger public

How can I get involved?

  • Visit the website to learn more:
  • Participate in an MMC event.
  • Become a member. Membership is open to individuals and faith groups who share MMC’s vision.
  • Join a committee, to help MMC’s work in different sectors.
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As a follow-up to the resolution passed at the AGM, the Manitoba Interfaith Council (MIC) has been renamed, and registered as the Manitoba Multifaith Council (MMC) to be distinguished from Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council (MIIC), and to more fully reflect the greater diversity which makes up the Province of Manitoba in our present day.  
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