Re-open Religious Services in BC

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We ask the Government of British Columbia to reconsider the denial of peoples to attend a church, synagogue, or mosque service.

Whereas, Section 2 (c), of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, declares that:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

c. freedom of peaceful assembly;

We understand that the current pandemic has cause for action. We also acknowledge that the current second wave has further increased situational fatigue. Mental health is essential to our physical health. Mental health is supported through the many facets of spiritual engagement.

Religious bodies work to supplement, support, and strengthen communities in many ways. We also understand that an essential part of our health is met through personal communication. Worship provides a means for people to find hope in fearful situations. The very act of knowing that someone is with you offers peace.

Many religious organizations and structures have suffered financially due to the current situation. Restricting gathering, restricts finances as people who gather also bring their donations when they attend. These structures are the very framework of our society that support those in need. When finances are stretched here, more people suffer.

We realize some structural changes in our approach to community outreach need to be administered. Many groups have been preparing so that they can reach out and prepare for those who may be especially desperate this coming season. We need time to gather, organize, and prepare as those numbers that need care are mounting.

We all have things to learn about strength, hope, and love in our communities. Gathering safely, with protocols in place, gives people an opportunity to express and receive help for their needs.

The government continues to message that ‘we are all in this together’. We therefore request that we must be permitted to be together with appropriate protocols for a safe environment.

Thank you for reconsidering the current health order and re-opening in respect of our charter right to gather.