Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom

The promotion and protection of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, is an important part of Canada’s constructive leadership in the world. 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. Canada has made recognition of and respect for diversity a priority, both at home and abroad.

Mandate and Activities

The Office is led by a Canada-based Ambassador for Religious Freedom. The ambassador is supported by a team of officials, who together carry out the office’s international 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.

The Office's activities are focused on advocacy, analysis, policy development and programming related to protecting and advocating on behalf of religious communities under threat, no matter which faith they profess. For more information on the Office and the importance of religious freedom please see Background information on the Office of Religious Freedom.

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 more information see, The Religious Freedom Fund.

External Advisory Committee

The Office of Religious Freedom is advised by 23 prominent leaders from a wide variety of Canadian faith and belief communities representative of Canada’s diversity. For more information, see External Advisory Committee to the Office of Religious Freedom.