Freedom of religion or belief

Freedom of religion or belief, including the ability to worship in peace and security, is a universal human right. It is enshrined in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, among other key human rights documents. Discrimination against religious and belief communities, as with all forms of discrimination, causes human suffering, spreads division, and contributes to a climate of fear, intolerance, and stigmatization.

The promotion and protection of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, is an important part of Canada’s constructive engagement in the world. Canada’s multi-cultural and multi-faith experience is reflective of Canadian efforts to champion inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism, and respect for diversity in all spheres of society.

Canada has made the promotion of pluralism and recognition of and respect for diversity a priority, both at home and abroad, and works with partners to enhance the international promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief.

Religious Freedom Fund

The Religious Freedom Fund supports projects outside Canada to help religious communities that are facing intolerance or persecution in their country. For information on projects and activities supported by the fund and how to apply, see The Religious Freedom Fund.