Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs on International Religious Freedom Day


October 27, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“International Religious Freedom Day is an important occasion to assert the universal human right of all people to practise their religion and hold beliefs, without discrimination, violence or abuse.

“This year, it is also a critical opportunity to recognize the resilience of faith and belief communities across the world in adapting their practices in the COVID-19 context.

“We also know that many situations of persecution and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Canada remains concerned by the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia; the ongoing persecution of Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners, and other faith and belief communities in China; the continued economic exclusion of Bahá’ís in Iran; and the imprisonment of Christians in North Korea. Canada will continue to call upon governments to allow UN special procedures immediate, unfettered and meaningful access.

“As a multicultural, multi-faith and multi-ethnic society, Canada will continue to stand up for human rights, including the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, at home and around the world.” 


Syrine Khoury
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office 
Global Affairs Canada

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