Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate our Prime Minister for keeping our Conservative government's promise to create the Office of Religious Freedom. This office will stand up to the terrible cruelty of religious persecution.
Around the world, violations of religious freedom are widespread, and they are increasing. In Iran, Baha'is and Christians face harassment, imprisonment and, in some cases, death.
In Pakistan, Christian, Sikhs and Hindus are vulnerable to persecution and violence.
In China, Christians who worship outside government-approved boundaries are driven underground and their leaders are arrested and detained, their churches burned down.
Shia Muslims in Iraq, Coptic Christians in Egypt, Christians at worship in Nigeria, the list appallingly goes on and on.
Elsewhere we watch in horror as sanctuaries are destroyed and believers are attacked and, in some cases, slaughtered. In the face of these injustices, Canada has not been silent. We wish Canada's first ambassador of religious freedom, Dr. Andrew Bennett, success monitoring and promoting religious freedom around the world.