This visit comes after Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird requested that Ambassador Bennett visit Kyiv following threats to the religious freedom of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the intimidation of members of its institutions.
Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom
Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador of Religious Freedom, meets with Tony Blair, former U.K. prime minister and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, to discuss various topics related to the protection and promotion of freedom of religion.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney (not shown), and Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, meet with members of the Shi’a community in Ottawa.
Canada is recognized globally for its leadership on human rights issues, and takes principled positions to promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance throughout the world.
On February 19, 2013, the Government of Canada officially opened its Office of Religious Freedom, within Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. A Canada-based ambassador and a team of officials will carry out the office’s mandate, which is to:
- protect, and advocate on behalf of, religious minorities under threat;
- oppose religious hatred and intolerance; and
- promote Canadian values of pluralism and tolerance abroad.
In Canada’s view, freedom of religion or belief, including the ability to worship in peace and security, is a universal human right. Through the Office of Religious Freedom, Canada will continue to work with like-minded partners to speak out against egregious violations of freedom of religion, denounce violence against human-rights defenders and condemn attacks on worshippers and places of worship around the world.
For more information on the Office of Religious Freedom please contact us.
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