Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs on International Religious Freedom Day

Statement

October 27, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“A fundamental right of all Canadians is the right to practise their religion, as well as hold, change or even eschew beliefs without being discriminated against or targeted for violence and abuse. In a multi-faith, multi-ethnic society such as ours, we all gain by recognizing the right of all people to practise their religion or beliefs as they choose. Our diversity is our strength.

“In many parts of the world, people of all faiths and beliefs continue to face repression, persecution, and violence. This includes deadly attacks on Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere, including Coptic Christians in Egypt and Christians in Pakistan, discrimination and persecution of Bahá’ís in Yemen and Iran, a deepening crackdown on Uyghurs and members of other religious minority groups in China, the appalling targeting of the Yazidis in Iraq, as well as the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and other Muslim groups across the world, persecution of humanists and secularists, and the global rise of antisemitism.

“We strongly condemn these and all other acts of religious intolerance. We are committed to working with international partners to protect and promote freedom of religion or belief, including through the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief, which Canada established to encourage and deepen multilateral coordination on this critical issue.  

“Canada is not perfect: discrimination and hate still exist in our society, too. We must continue to work hard to end events like the Québec mosque shooting, instances of anti-Semitism across the country, or any heinous or violent act targeting  members of faith or belief communities. That is why the government supported a motion condemning Islamophobia and committing to a study by a parliamentary committee on how we can best combat racism and religious discrimination.

“Today – and all days – we underscore our commitment to peace and inclusion, at home and abroad, for all religious and belief communities.”

Contacts

Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Adam.Austen@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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