BC Humanists launch study of legislature prayers

Through a crowdsourced effort, the BC Humanist Association is planning to transcribe every one of the 644 prayers said in the British Columbia Legislature since 2003.

Every day the Legislative Assembly's sittings begins with a prayer led by one Member of the Legislative Assembly.

There exists no study of the religiosity of those prayers or how diverse the worldviews represented are.

While Hansard captures a written record of the debates of every sitting, the prayers are not transcribed. They are, however, recorded in the legislature's video archives.

By transcribing each prayer, the BCHA hopes to be able to better understand the nature of these prayers, whether they reflect the religious diversity of the province and ultimately whether or not the practice should continue.

In 2015, the Supreme court of Canada ruled that prayers at municipal councils violated the "state's duty of religious neutrality" but declined to rule on the constitutionality of prayers in Parliament or provincial legislatures.

Learn more about the House of Prayers project.

Sign up to help transcribe prayers

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