Mandate of the Office of Religious Freedom

The Office of Religious Freedom fulfills the Government of Canada’s pledge to speak out and to protect and promote religious freedom around the world.

The Office will promote freedom of religion or belief as a Canadian foreign policy priority. The Office will be an important vehicle through which Canada can advance fundamental Canadian values, including freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law worldwide.

The Office will build on Canada’s past efforts, which have focused on advocacy and diplomacy. Specifically, the Office will focus on advocacy, analysis, policy development and programming relating to protecting and advocating on behalf of religious minorities under threat, opposing religious hatred and intolerance, and promoting pluralism abroad. Activities will be centred on countries or situations where there is evidence of egregious violations of the right to freedom of religion, violations that could include violence, hatred and systemic discrimination.