Monday, December 24, 2007

More Quebec soldiers seek religion

H/T National Post

ZHARI DISTRICT, Afghanistan -- Crosses and Bibles are being removed from public institutions across Quebec--but in Afghanistan, they are in short supply.

Military chaplain Charles Deogratias said there has been growing demand among the Quebec soldiers here from the Royal 22nd Regiment in Valcartier, Que., for religious items. In the run-up to Christmas, demand for the camouflage Bibles designed for the Canadian forces has exceeded supply.

"I have to order more because I keep running out of them," said Rev. Deogratias, a Presbyterian military chaplain. "And the crosses. Everyone is asking for the crosses. They put it on their dog tags. Ask them and they'll show them to you. They'll tell you it is for their protection." It is a curious shift for the soldiers, who come from a province that is increasingly rejecting the role of religion in public life. Their embrace of spirituality reflects the impact this war -- the deaths, the near-deaths and the life-transforming injuries -- has had on their lives.

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