Students comfortable expressing religious beliefs on campus

Range of religious beliefs coexist at Langara

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Reported by Jason Gilder

Members of the Langara Sikh Association gather with students from UBC and SFU in August 2016 to discuss religion. Sukhmandeep Singh photo.

Religious diversity can be a hot-button topic and with the multitude of different religions at Langara College, students say they feel secure expressing their faith and beliefs because of the range of diversity.

The large number of student clubs at Langara dedicated to different faiths is a testament to the diversity of beliefs. This semester, there are half a dozen active religious clubs — three focusing on Christianity, one on Islam, one on Judaism and one on Sikhism.

Second-year science student Jaspreet Singh, who is a member of the Langara Sikh Association, said that he noticed the diversity of religions on campus at Clubs Day when all the academic, sports and cultural student clubs gathered together in the main foyer of the campus.

“I saw many different stations,” Singh said. “There was a Muslim station, Christian, Jewish.” Singh said that he feels very welcome at Langara to express his Sikh faith on campus because of how many other religions there are.

Jessica Gao, organizer for the Christian group Every Nation Campus, said that Langara is unusual in its openness towards religion.

“The environment here is more open and welcoming,” Gao said. “It’s very diverse here in terms of religion and faith.” Gao said it is easier to talk to students about religious issues at Langara and think the reason is because at SFU students are very focused on their studies and less willing to take time away from academic pursuits.

President of the Sikh club Sukhmandeep Singh said such faith-focused clubs are about more than just religion.

He pointed out that several members of the association are international students living in Canada for the first time. The support given by the Sikh club, along with the multiculturalism of Canada, he said, can make it an easier transition for students.

 

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