Canada has many different religions, but none of them is official in the country because of the great significance of religious pluralism in Canadian political culture. Canada does not establish a single national religion, and, on the contrary, its government supports the existing multitude of religious movements. Today, the Church of Canada is the most liberal of the world’s Protestant communities. Thus, Hinduism can spread throughout the state and be supported by the majority of residents.
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Reasons for the Relevance of Religion
Hinduism is a religion that has about a billion followers in India, Africa, Indonesia, and the West Indies. Immigration from these countries (predominantly India) to Canada has become the basis of Canada’s population of about 297,200 Hindus. It is essential to mention that Hinduism in Canada has varied support because of the generation gap. Canadians aged 55 and older show the highest approval for Christianity and Judaism, but this approval drops among Millennials aged 18 to 34 (Shibuya et al., 2020). They, in turn, are more confirming of Hinduism and Islam. It is also necessary to indicate that political vectors help shape attitudes, as former Conservative Party voters mainly support the two religions Christianity and Judaism. Although it is important to note that liberals choose Hinduism as a creed. That is, it demonstrates that in the context of Canada’s growing religious diversity, individuals’ spiritual experiences are also increasing, which can help shape standard views of other faiths. Accordingly, Hinduism may expand the number of followers in the long run.
Moreover, the number of mixed marriages in Canada has recently increased. Thus, most residents find it acceptable for their child to marry a confessor of Christianity, Buddhism, and a supporter of Judaism. Although lately, there has been a trend that 54% of Canadians are not against marrying Hinduism followers and are willing to accept their religion (Shibuya et al., 2020). Thus, it can be concluded that Hinduism is likely to become more popular among Canadian citizens in the future. This is because the younger and progressive generations support their beliefs. At the same time, the fact that the number of migrants professing Hinduism will increase is not the least of the factors. Since they interact closely with locals, Hindus can inform them about religious ideas and thus spread the religion.
The Role of Interreligious Dialogue during a Pandemic
Coronavirus 2019 has played an essential role in today’s religious society. During the pandemic, most people reflected and began exploring the religious causes of the pandemic and its impact on their lives. Thus, the need for spiritual interventions to help everyone emerges. Consequently, the ‘Spiritual Hotline Project’ was created, in which medical professionals provided spiritual and religious assistance. Accordingly, all of the world’s religions took on the role of teachers to help fill the gaps in human life, i.e., love, compassion, and kindness, which remind people of the true essence of humanity (Corpuz, 2021). It is crucial to indicate that all religious movements have supported the ‘Day of Prayer for Humanity.’ They are trying to work together to fill human hearts with faith and serenity in the difficult times of the world’s pandemic. The role of religion now is to demonstrate that people must unite to help those in need in difficult times and express compassion for those around them despite their religious beliefs.
According to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, there are such forms of dialogue as a discussion of theological exchange and interaction of religious experiences. It should be noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Church supports the idea that all spiritual traditions and cultures should be respected equally and that their peaceful coexistence will help people find aid (Corpuz, 2021). At the same time, the dialogue of sharing theological knowledge deepens the mentors’ understanding. The exchange of religious experiences promotes common ideas and ways of seeking connection with God and helps to adhere to its basic guidelines.
Accordingly, these modes of interfaith discussion are tools for ensuring that human faith flourishes in times of pandemic. All religions can apply dialogues to hold common religious activities to strengthen the human spirit during COVID-19 (Corpuz, 2021). Moreover, partnerships among theologies can exemplify ordinary people of different faiths’ values. The coming together of believers from other faiths can help overcome the effects of the global crisis. It is essential to mention that religion in times of pandemic can be the catalyst that improves the world. This can be done because of shared values that promote feelings of common dignity, belonging, respect and help (Corpuz, 2021). Thus, the unification of faiths can help improve human relations and, as a result, help to survive a pandemic.
The Influence of Religion on Globalization
Religion is the most active player in solving the concerns of globalization, confronting it most consistently. In this context, it is crucial to remark that religion, for the most part, remains a unifying force, with a complex system of horizontal links and institutional relationships. That is why it can serve as an effective instrument for the regulation of multinational trends. Globalization, which dictates the contours of the new world order, can have many negative consequences, leading to the destruction of distinctive cultures and the oblivion of society’s sacred and moral values (Ferrara, 2015). The investigation of the impact of religion on global relations is now eventually regarded as a vast research field, which plays an essential role in international connections theory.
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In particular, the investigation of religions finds itself increasingly connected to the study of globalization and international politics, on the one hand, and to world affairs and politics, on the other. The victorious march of globalization diminishes the role of religion in the society, and it is pushed to the periphery of social existence (Ferrara, 2015). Under these conditions, religious identity becomes an expression of the unrealized hopes and aspirations in the world of actual social relations, including the ideals of the social arrangement of the globe.
The positive, evolutionary formation of religious identity in different parts of the world is everywhere disturbed by modernization’s revolutionary and chaotic impulse. Unfortunately, at the level of mass spiritual consciousness, history is replete with facts of intransigence and fanaticism. Moreover, political elites often use religious doctrines as ‘political technologies’ to influence the consciousness and behavior of large segments of the population (Ferrara, 2015). Religion is becoming an effective instrument of social and cultural mobilization in politics. In recent years, public attitudes toward spiritual institutions have changed dramatically.
Religion, while remaining for the most part a unifying factor and possessing a complex system of horizontal connections and institutional relationships, can serve as an effective instrument for the regulation of global trends. In general, the attitude of each belief towards globalization can be considered mature, but each faith is much less definite about world development (Ferrara, 2015). While in some parts of the globe, individuals demonstrate an unswerving devotion to their traditional, ‘pre-globalization’ religious forms, in others, on the contrary, religiosity acquires modernist configurations.
Globalization is mainly responsible for the distortion of the image of theology in the eyes of the world community. It has dramatically increased the politicization of belief. Under rigid geopolitics of modernity, the politicization of faith leads to the emergence of motivated extremism and terrorism – extremely negative phenomena. Religion has nothing familiar with that but paradoxically turned out to be responsible for them. Globalism has as its ideological foundation an extremely primitive philosophy (Ferrara, 2015). The latter assumes the existence of values common to all people, lying on the horizon of a consumerist attitude to the world. Undoubtedly, such matters exist, but they have a much more modest place in the aggregate existence of man and humanity. When this humble place is made the only meaningful for modern man, then the substitution of the essence of man in its infinite diversity, its primitive and flat understanding becomes obvious.
Furthermore, globalization and religion are sometimes linked through universal vectors such as information technology or transnational processes. According to this interaction concept, religion has adapted to current conditions and uses global channels to transmit its messages. This is the case even if the consequence of such a process is the loss of cultural traditions (Ferrara, 2015). In a very different context, beliefs are used as essential tools that can reconcile conflicting parties or, on the contrary, reinforce intolerance and intractability. Moreover, they are potential factors that can unite the post-globalized world, in which identities become social structures that resist globalization.
The danger of globalization is that it attempts to make everyone do the same and think the same way. This has the outcome of constructing the world too cramped, and the problem of global order collides with the issue of state systems. In this case, transnational religions such as Islam, Buddhism that promote expansion deserve special attention. To fight globalization effectively, religion can unite with other organizations, leading to changes in the very model of globalization. In this way, it will affect the restructuring of the political state of society and will play a vital role compatible with common goals.
Furthermore, despite the loyalist philosophies of the past, especially in Christianity, religions interpret their role as critical agencies concerning ‘market failures,’ growing global imbalance, and the loss of moral perspective in individual and social life (Ferrara, 2015). This is not a unique role for beliefs or any complete idea of the planet or any holistic conception of humanity. It can be said that any version of the political ideology of cosmopolitanism is intrinsically a form of reassessing the ‘separation’ of the world society from an integrative model “state of nature.
Thus, the opportunity and obligation of religion to offer hope for liberation and provide the spiritual ground for global democracy and humane globalization become apparent. Religious hope of this kind can be persuasive at all levels of social relations. It starts from the local to the planetary and even the cosmic, encouraging reconstructive postmodernism to search for ideas and power for a tolerable world that proclaims the sanctity of life.
Therefore, religion plays a vital role in society; it can help counter globalization and reduce the effects of the pandemic. It is essential to mention that the unification of all religious currents can disseminate knowledge about mutual aid. At the same time, in Canada, Hinduism may gain more supporters in the long run because of the positive attitude of millennials toward it and the large number of migrants who are bearers of the faith.
Corpuz, J. C. G. (2021). Religions in action: the role of interreligious dialogue in the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Public Health, 43(2), e236-237. Web.
Ferrara, P. (2015). The concept of periphery in Pope Francis’ discourse: A religious alternative to globalization? Religions, 6(1), 42-57.
Shibuya, K., Fong, E., & Shu, B. (2020). Religious affiliation and employment of Canadian immigrant youth: a focus on Eastern religions. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46(17), 3559-3579. Web.