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Parental rights threatened

The Supreme Court of Canada is about to hear a case that could change the face of religious education in Canada.

You need to know about it.

April, 2011

Imagine a child in a Canadian classroom listening to a religious studies lecture about Jesus Christ: who he is — as perceived by the government — what he did — as presented by the government — what he says — as told by the government.

As the parent of that child, you grow increasingly uncomfortable with what your child is learning, and you are shocked to discover that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

At the very least, you ask for your child to be excused from the classroom during the religious lessons that undermine your most basic and central beliefs as a Christian, in lessons vetted and approved by the government.

The answer is no.

This is not some futuristic scenario playing out in a totalitarian make-believe world. This is the reality in one province of Canada — Quebec — today. It is the reality, not only for public schools, but also in private religious schools, for Evangelicals and Catholics alike — even homeschoolers are required to follow the government-approved religious curriculum.

Who do you think should have the final say about what your children or grandchildren will be taught about Jesus: their parents or the government?

The shocking answer from the Courts in Quebec is that it is the government that will decide — each and every time. Parents are helpless to do anything about it. They cannot even pull their children out of the classroom during the lessons.

If a recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision stands, what the government decides will be taught about religion will be mandatory in every classroom in Quebec.

What happens in classrooms in one part of Canada will find its way to a school near you eventually. The Quebec case will set a precedent for all other provinces and territories.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada will be an intervenor before the nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada when this case is argued on Wednesday, May 18.

The EFC will voice our deep concerns about the Court of Appeal decision. A decision that we believe you agree violates the religious freedoms of parents, of students and even of teachers as they may be required to teach material that violates their own deeply held beliefs about Jesus Christ.

Will you stand with us as we speak for religious freedom on behalf of all Canadians?

The Government of Quebec will be our primary opposition as the Supreme Court determines the role of parents in deciding what is taught to their children — and whether government should be able to decide how religion is to be understood and taught.

At the core of religious freedom — a freedom being eroded in every country, for almost every religion around the world — lies the right of parents to choose the kind of education their children receive about religious beliefs.

The EFC believes, and we think you do too, that the government’s role is to protect religious freedom,
not write religious curriculum.

What the Supreme Court decides in this case will set the precedent for all of Canada. With your help, the EFC will be there, presenting reasoned and compelling arguments in defense of parents and religious freedom.

Please join us in prayer — and in funding — to mount the strongest case possible, and help us see this issue through to the end — an outcome which we believe will help determine the direction in which religious freedom will flow in Canada.

Because of our long and successful track record in intervening in religious freedom cases before Canadian Courts —a track record which EFC supporters like you have enabled us to build — the EFC is able to strengthen our case by quoting previous decisions of the courts from cases we ourselves have helped to successfully fight.

That is the blessing afforded us by years of hard work building credibility in the Courts and in Parliament, empowered by Evangelicals who know they have a voice, and trust us to speak with them and for them.

I remain grateful for your support. Please stand with us today.


Bruce J. Clemenger
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

P.S. Our legal team is in place. Our arguments are solid, and biblical. Please join us in mounting this defence for religious freedom in Canada today — and most definitely for tomorrow.

Please pray for us as we seek to stand for Christ before the Supreme Court in this case – S.L., et al. v.Commission scolaire des Chênes, et al.

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