Religion in the Time of Adversity, Help or Hindrance

15th   World Religions Conference- Victoria Theme: Religion in the Time of Adversity, Help or Hinderance (HELD ON February 2nd, 2021 Virtually) Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Victoria, BC, CANADA YouTube Live Stream   Goals and Objectives of the Conference The event aims to explore the teachings and practices of different religious and philosophical traditions, with the hope that such mutual exploration will encourage better understanding and promote harmonious co-existence among the members of Canada’s cultural mosaic. The Conference continues to strive to shorten the gap between diverse communities and to demonstrate that we can live together in the spirit of acceptance, harmony, and compassion. The objective of the event is to promote interfaith respect, harmony, inclusiveness, and diversity. It inculcates mutual understanding and respect between different faith traditions and philosophies of the world. It promotes respect, harmony, and cohesion among all people.   History The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at BC Region hosted the first conference in 2006 after success of World Religions Conference Kelowna  with huge success due to the tsunami in Indonesia with the topic “Reconciling Existence of God and Human Suffering”.  The event tickets were sold out a week before the conference. The city of Kelowna is 390 kilometres East of Vancouver, BC, Canada. The attendance at the 2005 conference was over 400.   Abbotsford Jama’at’ Compiegne Alhamdolillah, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at BC held their annual World Religions Conference for Vernon and Okanagan Valley. The total online viewers on YouTube were 356 and 15 sign-ins on Zoom.  Interesting part is online conferences is after event people can benefit months to come as of today showing 409 watched conference with this data, we are estimating at least anywhere between 550 – 800 people were watching and participating in this wonderful event. The Facebook campaign garnered 1100 views, 12 comments, and 18 reactions. Our Instagram had 1301 views, 19 comments and  102 reactions on YouTube promotion 27 . Our print media campaign had 72, 277 impressions and radio campaign ads more than 75,000 listeners on 98.5 FM .   Impact The impact on speakers panel and guests attended is enormous . There is no charge to attend the conference. Moreover, complementary refreshments and dinner including vegetarian and non vegetarian is also provided at no charge for last 14 years exception to 15th World Religions Conference due to COVID-19 19 was virtual. People benefiting due to primarily; the conference is academic in nature. Since followers of several faiths and philosophical traditions are invited to participate (including Atheists), the event is classified as a "completely secular event". The guests and speakers panel leave conference with sense of satisfaction due No religious leaders to do comparisons with other faiths and only speak with reference to their own faiths. The purpose is to spread harmony, Knowledge, strength, inclusiveness and diversity and Love for all. Attendee of conference explore teachings and practices of different religious and philosophical traditions, with the hope that such mutual exploration will encourage better understanding and promote harmonious co-existence among the members of Canada's cultural mosaic.       Program Details Abbotsford Jama`at, BC held the 15th Religions Conference Victoria, BC Program on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 The program started at 6:00 PM (local time) with the recitation of the Holy Quran (by Mirza Naweed, Abbotsford), followed by welcome remarks presented by Mr. Rizwan Peerzada, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Abbotsford. Respected Mr. Don Brown of Baha`i faith started with his presentation  followed by Bishop Gary Gordon, Dr. Anneli Driessen and Maulana Umair Khan (AMJ BC) delivered a PowerPoint presentation on the topic of “Religion in the time of Adversity, Help or Hinderance”. Later, the following 4 Speakers from various faith presented their views. 356 known attendance participated live throughout the program. We project approximately 700 watched this conference.   Moderated by Chem First Nation Chief Andrew Victor (Second Chief in Canada to moderate WRC) Regional President British Columbia, Mr. Naeem Ahmad Lakhan gave Introductory Remarks Speakers Panel were: Baha’I                                                 Mr. Don Brown Christianity                                     Bishop Gary Gordon (Catholic Church) Metaphysical                                  Dr. Anneli Driessen Islam                                                 Maulana Umair Khan Jewish Faith                                   Rabbi Louis Setker Christianity                                     Mr. John Barrows The Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints Church Sikh Faith                                        Mr.Gurdeep Singh Hindu Faith                                     Mr.Vinod Bhardwaj We pray that these efforts of our Jama`at were able to spread the true message of Islam to the Canadian population. May Allah accept our small deeds and bestow upon us His mercy and blessings (ameen).   Rizwan Peerzada Regional Coordinator & President Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at, BC Email: [email protected] Cell: 1-604-767-1965

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