CNEWA Canada

CNEWA Promotes Dialogue, Peace at Canadian Conferences

CNEWA’s offices, programs and partners across the globe work in religiously diverse communities, promoting dialogue and peace.  

Adriana Bara, national director of CNEWA in Canada, gave one of two presentations at the Canadian French Christian-Jewish Dialogue meeting in Montreal on 24 May. She spoke on “Different Forms of Christianity” and Rabbi Lisa Grushcow spoke about “Different Forms of Judaism.” Rabbi Grushcow is the senior rabbi at the synagogue and has long been involved in interfaith, Jewish pluralist and intradenominational dialogue.

“Since Vatican II in 1964, the Catholic Church opened the doors towards collaboration and dialogue with other religions and with an emphasis on the Christian-Jewish dialogue,” Dr. Bara said in an interview for this report. “So, I think it is a way of showing the openness of the church and also the desire to collaborate with people regardless of their religion.”

CNEWA’s work, carried out through the Eastern churches, serves people irrespective of their religion or beliefs, she said. “Nobody will ask them, what is your religion? We just help.”

Dr. Bara has a background in ecumenism and a PhD in theology. Before joining CNEWA in 2022, she was the director of the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism for a decade.

Her presentation discussed the various Christian denominations and some of the major differences in their practices. Despite these differences, Dr. Bara described this relationship “like brothers and sisters in Christ, not as enemies.”

Similarly, Rabbi Grushcow outlined the diversity and unity within Judaism.

The conference drew approximately 50 participants in person and online and featured a Q.-&-A.- based discussion, which addressed questions about proselytizing, salvation in Christianity and the Incarnation.   

Dr. Bara also participated in the Canadian Friends of Sabeel meeting and Kairos Palestine forum on 16 May in Toronto.

Omar Haramy, the director of Friends of Sabeel and the main presenter, “emphasized the importance of the ‘meaningful pilgrimage’ to the Holy Land,” she said. “In his view, people should not only visit churches and buildings in the Holy Land but also encounter people to understand their challenges and needs.” 

Dr. Bara said CNEWA’s participation in such conferences spreads awareness about the agency’s mission and furthers its engagement in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

Olivia Poust is assistant editor of ONE.

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