Statement on International Religious Freedom Day

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October 27, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Today, Global Affairs Canada issued the following statement:

“Worldwide, the right to practise, choose and change one’s religion or belief is increasingly under attack. With a surge in religiously motivated crimes and persecution, International Religious Freedom Day, gives us an opportunity to reaffirm this universal human right.

“The Government of Canada is firmly committed to the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief, both at home and around the world. This past July, Canada hosted  2 national Summits, on Islamophobia and Antisemitism, to hear the concerns of policymakers and community leaders, discuss ongoing challenges and commit to next steps.

“As part of Canada’s broader effort to promote and defend pluralism, inclusion and human rights, Irwin Cotler, Canada’s  Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism,  has been working with partners both in Canada and internationally to advance collective efforts to address resurgent forms of antisemitism.

“Canada is deeply concerned by the global rise of intolerance against individuals of all faiths and beliefs. This includes the persecution of religious minorities in Afghanistan, the systematic repression of Uyghur and other Muslim ethnic minorities in China, the crimes committed against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and the alarming situation for Bahá’ís in Iran and Yemen. Canada condemns religious hatred, discrimination and xenophobia in all their forms.

“In 2015, Canada established the International Contact Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief to deepen global collaboration. To date, more than 30 countries and organizations have worked together in this forum in support of this important human right.

“As a multicultural, multi-faith and multi-ethnic society, Canada stands in solidarity with all faith and belief communities against all hatred and intolerance and shares their desire to build a more just and inclusive world.”


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