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Toronto faith community taking action on Human Rights

Toronto faith community gathers to discuss human rights in the Philippines, taking action

“The time to act is now”: human rights advocates, churchgoers

Press release
July 18, 2022

On Sunday, July 17th, human rights advocates and churchgoers alike gathered in the halls of Saint Luke’s United Church, located in the heart of downtown Toronto, to reflect on the recent elections which took place in the Philippines. The 2022 national elections saw the inauguration of now-President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the son of infamous Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. who oversaw over a decade of martial law and 11,000 human rights violations in the country.

What began as a national situationer on the current events in the Philippines and two lively musical performances by community members steadily became a discussion on matters of international advocacy, the power of community resistance, and the ways in which Canadians must reckon with their country’s complicity in the current state of democracy in the Philippines.

Attendees gained a deeper understanding of the corruption and violence at the heart of the Philippine elections as a result of these discussions. The conversation lit a spark for change and a fire for advocacy in the hearts of the people of Saint Luke’s, who are now looking for their own way to continue the fight for democracy and just peace in the Philippines.

For a few of the attendees, the way to continue this work was the formation of an ecumenical working group on human rights in the Philippines. This group will engage members of the faith community in Toronto to contribute to awareness of the situation in the Philippines, and will provide a space for any members of faith communities who are looking for ways to take action. 

We invite you to stay updated on the output of these lively discussions through our newsletter and social media, and to reach out to ICHRP-Toronto to engage in this advocacy work. You can reach us on social media or at

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