Canada Calls for Peace Among Religious Communities over Christmas

December 24, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“On behalf of all Canadians, we wish all Christians, whether they follow the Gregorian or Julian calendar, a very Merry Christmas.

“In these times of Christmas celebration, we remain mindful of those Christians facing persecution, violence and hardship in many parts of the world.

“Year after year, we see violence and persecution around the world against religious communities. From attacks on Nigerian Christians worshipping peacefully over Christmas, to difficulties faced in Pakistan, China, North Korea, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, we call for greater freedom for those trying to worship in peace.

“Religious freedom is a human issue and is a fundamental human right that we believe people of all faiths should enjoy.

“In 2014, Canada will continue to lead the fight for strengthened international efforts to defend religious freedom for all humanity.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @FreedomReligion and @DFATDCanada