BCHA asks all MPs to end prayers in House of Commons

The BC Humanist Association today wrote to all 338 Members of Parliament to ask them to end prayers in the House of Commons.

In its brief, It's time to end parliamentary prayers, the BCHA argues that the prayer that begins every sitting day in the national legislature discriminates against the nonreligious and members of minority faiths and fails to reflect the "increasingly diverse, multicultural and secular country" that Canada has become.

The brief highlights debates over the prayers date back to their introduced in 1877. Even at that time a number of Members suggested a moment of reflection. Debates over the prayers continued frequently throughout the twentieth century. Most recently, they were the subject of an ultimately unsuccessful opposition day motion and were raised during a debate over the Standing Orders.

The BCHA is asking MPs to support the introduction and passage of a motion at the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs to amend the Standing Orders to replace the daily prayers with a moment of silence and/or an indigenous land acknowledgement.

Supporters can also email their MP to ask them to end prayers in the House of Commons.

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