CFS Ottawa wishes for peace and an end to the violence in the Israel-Hamas conflict. We are deeply saddened by the violence and killings of civilians in Israel and Gaza and our hearts go out to everyone affected by the conflict and violence.

We uphold the human right to practice religion and faith freely. We uphold the right that everyone should live free of violence, whether interpersonal, or in the context of war and conflict. Who we are, where we are from and what we believe in are things that make us beautiful and unique and build community and a sense of belonging.

The situation in the Middle East is overwhelming for so many of us. We want all our neighbours, everyone in our community, to know that we are here for you. We challenge hate in all its forms and have zero tolerance for antisemitism and Islamophobia. In the shadow of this conflict, we condemn the rise of faith-based hatred here in Ottawa.

CFS is an organization committed to upholding the rights and dignity of all people, and we serve people from all backgrounds. We continually work towards being inclusive of every faith, race, gender identity, class, residential status, country of origin, ability, and sexual orientation, and we pay particular attention to meeting the needs of the Francophone minority community of Ottawa.

We are committed to advancing the mental health and well-being of all residents and play an active role in supporting survivors of violence including survivors of sexual violence and Francophone women survivors of intimate partner violence.

If you are feeling fear, feeling triggered, feeling tired, feeling unwell because of this unrest, you are not alone.  As we head into the festive season, we want to uplift and celebrate Ottawa’s rich diversity, but we also recognize that this season comes with many challenges. Whether it’s fear of practicing your religion in a climate of increased hate, or sense of loss or trauma that is heightened during the holidays, know that we are here for you.  If you need to reach out for support, our team is here for you with a peaceful and compassionate ear.