Sunday, November 26 is a day set apart to pray for the successful resolution of the Trinity Western University (TWU) case, which will be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada on November 30 and December 1.
Because of the broad potential implications of this case, it is also a day to pray for the future of religious freedom in Canada.
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- TWU was denied accreditation of its law school because the school requires students to sign a community covenant which includes a commitment to reserve sexual intimacy to the marriage of one man and one woman.
- This battle for accreditation has been played out across Canada with the Federation of the Law Societies of Canada affirming the accreditation, while three of its members dissented and said they would not accredit it.
- Legal challenges have ensued in three provinces. The courts ruled in favour of TWU in two of the three cases. Two decisions were appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada, one for and one against TWU. Those two cases will be heard on November 30 and December 1 in Ottawa.
- Regardless of outcomes, Christians are enjoined by Scripture to pray for authorities and that the Church may live in peace and godliness (1 Timothy 2).
- At the heart of the issue is the place of religion in Canadian public life. Can government bodies refuse to accredit or recognize Christian or other religious institutions that meet all the required standards?
- A decision against TWU could mean that a religious institution can no longer maintain community expectations, and thereby erode their religious distinctiveness. A negative decision may not only potentially trigger a tightening of restrictions on other Canadian Christian institutions of higher learning, but also restrict other religious organizations that ask its memebrs to live counter-culturally.
Let’s unite as individuals, small groups, congregations, and denominations on Sunday, November 26 to pray with one heart and mind.
- Let’s pray together for our leaders, as Scripture exhorts us. Let’s pray for wisdom and insight for the judges, the lawyers and the interveners on both sides in the TWU case.
- Let’s earnestly pray for the provincial and federal governments of Canada, that they would know God’s wisdom and govern with insight and compassion for all the citizens of Canada.
- Let’s pray for the churches of Canada, that we would be compassionate and godly citizens representing Jesus Christ well, even as our country changes around us.
- Finally, let’s pray that 1) the Supreme Court of Canada will rule that there is no valid reason that TWU law schools should not be accredited, and 2) that the precedent that is set will be one for religious freedom in Canada.
A reminder of what could be at stake:
- The accreditation and recognition of religious institutions in Canada.
- The freedom of religious institutions (churches, schools, camps, missions, etc.) to maintain their religious character and purposes.
- The future of professional training programs run by Christian institutions.
This day of prayer is an initiative of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and the Canadian Council of Christian Charities.