On Saturday a unique interfaith forum took place at the North Battleford Public Library with a stated goal of finding peace in society.
The event was called Pathway to Peace, and was put on by the Lloydminster chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. The goal was to invite representatives from several major religions to come to North Battleford and speak. According to their news release, it was to discuss the ways to achieve peace and harmony in society according to their beliefs.
Speakers included C. Mansoor Azeem from the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith, Pastor Keith Klippenstein of Territorial Alliance Church representing the Christian faith, Amandeep Singh of the Sikh faith and two speakers representing the Indigenous perspective, Quentin Weenie and Wes Fineday. Seeta Ram, representing the Hindu faith, learned about the event at the last moment and approached organizers about speaking, and he was also added to the program.
At the two-hour event, each of the speakers shared aspects of their own religious faith.
Muhammad Anwar Mangla, organizer of the event, explained the purpose behind the event was to bring people together.
“The pathway to peace is the team, and that is the whole purpose to bring them together and learn from each other. That is our main cause for such events.”
The idea was to include every major religion and talk about how to achieve peace in society. The message, said Mangla, was “let’s bring all those people together, let’s take our differences aside and talk to each other.”
These interfaith conferences are events the Ahmadiyya Muslim community have held before. They had put on these events a number of times in Lloydminster on a yearly basis, but “this is the first of its kind that we’ve done outside of Lloyd[minster],” Mangla said.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community had held other events before in North Battleford, but not on this scale with representatives from different religions. Mangla said there were plans to expand and hold more of these events in other communities in the region, as their limited resources allow.
“I was really happy to see a lot of people came, and be acknowledged, and we got a lot of really positive feedback as well.”