Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fighting Christophobia

On June 11, 2012, the Pan-Orthodox Association of Greater Hamilton and the Eastern Orthodox Clergy made a presentation before the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's trustees and superintendents. The topic: bullying and bullying prevention strategies  to protect Christian students. Father Geoffrey Korz, Dean of Ontario for the Orthodox Church in America, and General Secretary of the Pan-Orthodox Association of Greater Hamilton was the presenter. Many parents were also present at the meeting. Warning: In the first part of the video there's some camera movement, but for the most part it's quite steady and audible.

Please watch the entire video because the address given is very well researched and eloquent. Fr. Korz's presentation to the HWDSB makes a solid effort based on facts to defend the rights, equality and safety of Christian students. With statistical evidence, he urges the board to fight against Christophobia. In the interest of fairness and justice, there's a need for the board to develop, like they have done for self-identified LGBT, (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) an anti-bullying initiative for Christian students who are bullied because of their faith. Fr. Korz goes on to describe an eight point plan that will similarly protect Christian and all other students. He is asking for no more than what Bill13 and the "Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy" will do for students who express one or more of the sexual orientations.

For parents who are thinking of what they can do now that Bill 13 is law, this presentation offers a  number of practical strategies. The ideas can be easily used and modified for a school parent council and to develop a parish/family strategy to push back so that Christian students and students from other cultures have the same rights afforded to them as the LGBT students. We thank Fr. Korz and the association he represents for taking a leadership role in defending not only Christian students, but all students against all kinds of bullying, not limited to sexual orientation.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Lou. Christophobia is a really serious problem in many parts of the world today.

    In fact Christian persecution accounts for seventy five percent of religious persecution around the world. One hundred thousand Christians are killed because of their faith each year. Yet these religious crimes are either ignored or under reported by the world's media.

    If people think it can't happen here in Canada, they need to wake up and smell the roses before it's too late. May a God of love, hope and mercy look after all his children. God bless you all.