Evangelical Fellowship of Canada: Applause for PM Harper

General November 22, 2006
Ottawa-The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s (EFC) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) today applauded Prime Minister Harper for his stance on religious freedom issues in China and Vietnam. He reaffirmed the dignity of human life when he expressed that fundamental Canadian values, such as belief in human rights and freedom of religion, take precedence “over the almighty dollar.” His actions set an example for other world leaders to do the same.

“The RLC is specifically concerned with the religious persecution of Christians taking place in both China and Vietnam. It is very timely that the prime minister plans to meet with the president of China in Vietnam; two countries that we monitor closely for human rights abuses. Discrimination in both countries creates an inability for Christians to pursue their faith publicly through church services and worship. Persecution takes place in the form of loss and destruction of property, imprisonment, torture and even death of men, women and children as a result of their belief in Jesus Christ,” said Janet Epp Buckingham who is a member of the RLC.

November 25, 2006 marks the 25th anniversary of the UN’s Declaration on the Elimination of all forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief. Canada’s commitment to this declaration has been well represented by PM Harper’s recent statements on China. While in Vietnam for APEC meetings this week, Harper met with the Vietnamese Prime Minster Nguyen Tan Dungand and raised 10 specific cases of religious persecution in Vietnam that Canada is concerned about.

“In light of these events, the RLC encourages the Canadian government and human rights groups to build on the Prime Minister’s actions and to continue to promote religious freedom as a fundamental human right,” said Buckingham.

For more information or an interview contact:
Gail Reid
Director, Communications
905-479-5885, ext. 227
Cell: 647-227-3464