Americas

Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom

New government shuts down Office of Religious Freedom modeled after US version.
Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom
Image: Canada's Office of Religious Freedom / Facebook
Ambassador Andrew Bennett's visit to Pakistan in 2014.

The first attempt to replicate the United States’s diplomatic advocacy for beleaguered believers worldwide has come to an end.

Five years ago, Canada’s Conservative party campaigned for a new office to champion the cause of international religious freedom (IRF). The office opened in 2013, looking to complement the strengths of the US State Department’s IRF office that it was modeled after.

But six months after the Conservatives lost national elections to the Liberal party, the four-person, $5 million Office of Religious Freedom (ORF) has been shut down.

“Our government shares the same conviction as the previous government, but it assesses the consequences of its chosen method of promoting this conviction differently,” said foreign affairs minister Stéphane Dion during a speech, according to The Globe and Mail. “I am referring to freedom of religion or belief, which we will defend tooth and nail, but not through the office that the Harper government ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber? for full digital access.
March
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Posted by:

Read These Next

close
hide this
Access The Archives

Member-Only Access

Subscribe to Christianity Today to continue reading this article from CT's digital archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? to continue reading.