A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old church in Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 81 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim South Asian country. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/22/us-pakistan-blast-idUSBRE98L02K20130922
The attack on the All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar, which also wounded over 140 people, occurred as worshippers were leaving after services to get a free meal of rice offered on the front lawn. A wing of the Pakistani Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the bombing, Angry Christians demanded government protection for the members of the Christian minority. Christians are a minority in Pakistan, where roughly 96 per cent of the country’s 180 million people is Muslim. The rest belong to other religions, including Christianity. Christians have often been attacked by Sunni Muslim militants, who view them as enemies of Islam because of their faith. Christians are also in a precarious position in Pakistan. While many Pakistanis condemned the Sunday bombings, Christians have often faced discrimination across the country. They often find it difficult to get access to education or better jobs and are known for having to contend with menial labour such as garbage collecting or street cleaning. . http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/angry-pakistani-christians-protest-church-attack-as-death-toll-rises-to-81/article14460407/
Now the majority of Canadians view non-Christian religions with uncertainty and dislike. What’s more surprising is that Canadians’ opinions of religions like Islam, Sikhism, and Hinduism have actually worsened since the last time Angus Reid conducted this survey in 2009. ‘s interesting to compare these numbers to similar polls conducted in the United States. In 2010, CBS Polling found that 53 per cent of Americans had an unfavourable view of Islam. A 2009 Gallup survey indicated that 35 per cent of Americans had an unfavourable opinion of Buddhism while 56 per cent were uncertain of Judaism.
Religious populations in Canada (Source: Statistics Canada):
No religious affiliation: 7,850,605
Jewish 329,500 ( Most Jews do not disclose they are Jews)
Quebec divided along linguistic lines, poll shows-Overall, 46 per cent of Quebecers said they favour the values charter, up from 43 per cent in September; 41 per cent oppose it, compared with 42 per cent who were against it in September. http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Quebec+divided+along+linguistic+lines+poll+shows/9039460/story.html
Here are five things the charter would do, .
- Bar public sector employees — including everyone from civil servants to teachers, provincial court judges, daycare workers, police, health-care personnel, municipal employees and university staff — from wearing a hijab, turban, kippa, large visible crucifix or other “ostentatious” religious symbols while on the job.
- Allow five-year opt-outs from the ban for certain organizations, but not daycare workers or elementary school teachers.
- Require that those receiving or providing government services uncover their faces.
- Exempt elected members of the Quebec legislature from the regulations.
- Amend Quebec’s human rights legislation, the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, to specify limits on when someone can stake a claim for religious accommodation.
Over 1,100 Quebecers were asked a series of questions related to the debate brewing across the province on the subject of religion by SOM Research.
When they were asked whether they would be comfortable if their child’s daycare worker wore a cross, hijab, turban or kippa, 79 per cent of respondents said a cross would be fine.
Meanwhile, only 49 per cent of people said they were comfortable with the hijab, 46 per cent with the turban and 41 per cent with the kippa.
Elsewhere, 90 per cent of Quebecers said they’d be at ease with a doctor wearing a cross, while only 65 per cent of them said they’d be equally at ease with a doctor wearing a kippa.