Canada's Foreign Minister to Speak at Washington Religious Liberty Event

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The Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., will host the 10th annual Religious Liberty Dinner, May 24, 2012. The event comes as Canada moves to establish an Office of Religious Freedom to monitor and promote religious freedom as part of Canada’s foreign policy. There will be press availability with Minister John Baird prior to the dinner.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will be the keynote speaker May 24 at the 10th annual Religious Liberty Dinner, to be hosted this year at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC.

Minister Baird speaks eloquently and powerfully about the struggles of religious minorities of all faiths.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will be the keynote speaker May 24 at a religious freedom dinner that will bring together a diverse group of Washingtonians—from Congress, the diplomatic community, government agencies, faith leaders, and advocacy organizations.

The event comes as Canada presses forward with plans for an Office of Religious Freedom to “promote and protect freedom of religion and belief, consistent with core Canadian values such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.” In comments recently made in Parliament, Minister Baird called religious freedom “something that defines Canadians” and a value his country will promote around the world in the years to come.

Dwayne Leslie, legislative director of the Washington, D.C.-based International Religious Liberty Association—one of the sponsors of the event—said that Minister Baird speaks “eloquently and powerfully about the struggles of religious minorities of all faiths.”

“Minister Baird has made it clear that Canada intends to take a leading role in defending and promoting this fundamental human right,” said Leslie. “We’re delighted that he will be our keynote speaker this year.”

Speakers at previous Religious Liberty Dinners have included then-Senator Hilary Clinton, Senator John McCain, and Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, United States Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom. Although speakers have spanned the political spectrum, they have each shared a commitment to upholding religious freedom as a fundamental, universal human right.

The annual Religious Liberty Dinner is sponsored by International Religious Liberty Association, the North American Religious Liberty Association, and Liberty magazine. Its goal is to generate awareness and support for religious freedom as a fundamental, universal human right.

Photos and video of previous Religious Liberty Dinners can be found here.

MEDIA INFORMATION

There will be press availability with Minister John Baird. Pre-registration is essential.
For more information, contact: Chris Plunkett, Spokesperson, Embassy of Canada
(202) 682-7715 or chris(dot)plunkett(at)international(dot)gc(dot)ca

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