Canada’s ambassador for religious freedom has had his contract extended for another month, but the post may still be abolished.
Andrew Bennett became Canada’s first ambassador for religious freedom when he was appointed three years ago, but Canada’s new Foreign Affairs Minister, Stéphane Dion, said religious freedom should not be “disconnected” from other human rights.
“Human rights are interdependent, universal and indivisible,” he said. “How can you enjoy freedom of religion if you don’t have freedom of conscience? Freedom of speech? Freedom of mobility?”
However, faith groups and foreign affairs critics have asked that the new Liberal government allow the post to continue, saying its mandate is more important now than ever, thanks to the role of religion in geopolitics.
This comes shortly after the European Parliament called for the establishment of a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion and Belief, in the wake of its formal recognition that the so-called Islamic State had committed “genocide” in its actions against Christians and other religious minorities.
Lord Alton of the UK Parliament, a highly experienced and respected advocate of Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB), has been mentioned as one possible candidate for the role.
Source: National Post