Peace, Harmony and Cooperation: What World Religion Day Means in 2022

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 13:45

As human beings, one of the most beautiful gifts we share is the power to believe in something. Faith and spirituality can drive many people to do the seemingly impossible; it has the potential to transform lives, inspire change, help others and create strong bonds within and between communities.  

This World Religion Day, January 16, it is fitting to remember the value of a belief system in our lives and continue to work towards achieving peace and harmony between all citizens of the Earth, regardless of what or whom we believe in. Moreover, in understanding these differences, we are better able to appreciate our diversity and the common virtues that bind us towards a common purpose. In a social climate that is ever-changing and often inflammatory, religion offers us perspective and purpose, and encourages empathy towards others. 

At the University of Waterloo, we are proud to be home to a myriad of clubs that celebrate and promote our religious diversity. Opportunities for shared prayer, community engagement and local events are a few of the many benefits enjoyed by club members.  

Religious student-organizations at UW include: 

  • The Chinese Christian Fellowship is a campus group of culturally diverse Christians who meet together regularly to be a visible and effective witness for Jesus Christ on this campus, provide an environment of mutual support that will enable students to discover their potential and the true meaning of life within the context of university as well as after graduation, encourage its members to practice genuine Christian love, and help students integrate into local churches. 

  • Hillel Waterloo strives to inspire every Jewish student in Waterloo to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel. Through promoting Jewish identity, cultivating student leadership and embracing religious and political diversity in an inclusive environment, Hillel Waterloo will enrich the lives of students on campus, through our on-campus activities which range in content from Israel engagement, education, and advocacy opportunities, to social interactions, to community service and social justice, and to Jewish educational encounters. 

  • Sikh Students Association (SSA) attempts to provide an environment on campus, and beyond, that helps to promote the Sikh religion by practicing its beliefs and traditions. The above is achieved through various discussion groups, weekly path sessions, kirtans, guest speakers, Q/A periods and a variety of religious/language classes provided by fellow students. As well, UW SSA attempts to participate in a wide range of multi-cultural activities both on campus, and within the Sikh community (such as trips to the Gurdwara, Vaisakhi, etc). In addition, our club organizes a number of intramural co-ed sports teams (Basketball and Volleyball, usually) and social functions (pool tournaments, bowling, etc.) and outings (dinners, horseback riding, skiing trips) that form the bulk of our time commitments. 

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Students' Association (AMSA) provides necessary guidance and/or counselling to its members in matters relating to social, cultural, academic and religious importance and to provide assistance beyond counselling where it will be necessary. Furthermore, through his personal example of benevolent behavior, each member of AMSA at UWaterloo will strive to portray the true life of an Ahmadi Muslim. 

  • Buddha's Light Community Club, UW works to encourage the understanding of Buddhism, particularly Mahayana Buddhism and Humanistic Buddhism and to promote the application of the Buddhist principles of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity to our daily lives. They also organize meetings and social gatherings to discuss Buddhism-related topics, while providing a friendly environment for spiritual development to the members of the University who are interested in learning Buddhism and meeting with other Buddhists. 

  • Campus Association for Baháʼí Studies at UW (CABS) Campus Association for Baha'i Studies (CABS) is the UWaterloo club associated with the Baha'i Faith, a religion founded by Baha'u'llah whose central purpose is to establish the oneness of humanity. The purpose of CABS is to gather friends to deepen on the teachings of God and the history and philosophy of the Baha'i Faith; as university students, to learn how to be of service to humanity in all the different aspects of our lives. Examples of events we hold are devotionals and study sessions.  

  • Christian Orthodox Campus-Ministry Association is charged with connecting Orthodox college students— and those interested in the Orthodox Christian faith — to Christ and His Church. OCF realizes this mission by supporting members' experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others, and study of the Faith and providing a variety of thoughtful and innovative programming including College Conference and Real Break domestic and international service projects 

  • Christians on Campus are believers in Christ. Whether meeting one-on-one or in small groups, their desire is to cooperate with Him for the accomplishment of God's eternal purpose by ministering the unsearchable riches of Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ. They warmly receive all believers in Christ, and people who want to learn about Christ and we seek to maintain the oneness of the Spirit by keeping our focus on Christ. Christians on Campus is a registered Federation of Students club at the University of Waterloo.  

  • Karol Wojtyla Club are of the conviction that the legacy and spirituality of Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) represents a strong moral and spiritual compass to guide and enhance the life goals of similarly minded young adults. The late pope’s unprecedented special relationship to young people in virtually every country of the world has inspired devotion in millions who, in turn, continue to instruct the next generation in his teachings. They are of the opinion that the body of literature and teaching that emanate from this great saint warrant special intention, and that his admirers merely need a structure in which to join others of like mind. 

  • Kingdom Come - A Ministry of Power to Change are a campus movement dedicated to helping students discover Jesus. As part of a larger organization called Power to Change, their primary focus is to help university and college students across Canada experience God’s love and forgiveness and to inspire them to influence others to become lifelong followers of Jesus. 

  • Korean Christian Fellowship are a community of students passionate about knowing God and participating in his work on campus and in the world. They pursue transformation through Scripture to lead and equip others to join in Jesus' extraordinary revolution. They have small groups, prayer times, and bible studies happening throughout the week and regular large groups on Fridays where they gather for a time of worship and fellowship. 

  • Mandarin Chinese Christian Fellowship seeks to worship God and do bible studies in order to learn the word of God through speaker nights, praise and worship nights, movies, and Bible studies. 

  • Muslim Students' Association (MSA) seeks to create a community that is open and dynamic, which caters to the best interests of all Muslims on campus. Their main goals are to provide an Islamic environment for the Muslims at UW, and to raise awareness of Islam among non-Muslims. They achieve these goals by providing services and support for Muslims on campus, and by organizing lectures, conferences, and Islam Awareness Weeks each term for the general UW population. 

  • Power to Change (Campus Crusade for Christ) is a Christian club who exists to serve the spiritual needs of students on campus. Anyone and everyone is welcome to their club -- whether you are a Christian or not. The core of their ministry consists of engaging events, discussion groups, prayer meetings, bible studies, weekly meetings, conferences, and spring/summer mission’s trips. 

  • Thaqalayn Muslim Association (TMA), founded in early 2012, was formed by a group of Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim students in response to a lack of an official support network for the post-secondary Shia Muslim students in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Although the headquarters of TMA Waterloo's activities is the University of Waterloo's main campus, the TMA aims to be accessible to all post-secondary students in the region. Thus, the TMA Waterloo’s purpose is to cater primarily, although not exclusively, to the needs of the Shia Ithna Asheri Muslim post-secondary students at the University of Waterloo, and the surrounding region, while simultaneously representing their collective voices and pursuing their ideals. 

  • University of Waterloo Cantonese Chinese Christian Fellowship is a Christian group on campus with a focus in Cantonese and English-speaking students. They aim to build a community of Christian believers on campus, equip members with biblical knowledge, and evangelize others at the University of Waterloo. UWCCCF consists of mostly Christians rooted in Cantonese culture or from a Hong Kong background, however, anyone is welcome to learn more about God, connect with brothers and sisters, and share their love to people around them. They run various interactive activities during our weekly meetings, such as Bible studies, worship, prayer nights, games and outreach services. 

  • University of Waterloo Soka Gakkai International (UWSGI) gathers all members of the UWaterloo community at large to better understand Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism with the keen understanding that we live in a diverse environment. It cherishes the value of peace, culture and education centered on the respect for the dignity of life. They meet weekly to discuss different topics related to student life and being global citizens through the lens of humanistic Buddhism. They also work on projects related to Nichiren Buddhism education and connect with the larger Waterloo community. 

  • Waterloo Chinese Catholic Community is a Chinese community at the heart of spiritual and intellectual activities. They gather every week to share our Catholic faith through bible sharing, topic discussions, personal reflections, and special communal prayer sessions. WCCC also provides a place for rest and support during times of crisis and happiness. There is currently no membership fee for joining WCCC. 

  • Waterloo Ismaili Students' Association is a not-for-profit organization that primarily provides a venue for Ismaili Muslim students attending UW to congregate for daily prayers. The club emphasizes a strong sense of community and also holds educational, social, and sports events for our members, in which the greater community is often encouraged to participate. 


Can’t find what you’re looking for? Be a pioneer instead! WUSA welcomes the creation of any and all religious clubs. Learn how to start your own club in four easy steps.