October 21, 2013 - Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:
“Canada is deeply concerned by an attack outside a Coptic Orthodox Christian church in Giza, Egypt, that killed four people, including two girls, an eight-year-old and a 12-year-old, the latest in a number of assaults targeting the country’s Coptic Orthodox Christian community.
“Attacks on places of worship are unacceptable. Canada calls on Egyptian authorities to protect the Christian community and their churches and other properties from violent attack.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of these attacks and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.
“Canada firmly believes that implementing a transparent, democratic system that respects the voices of all Egyptians, including members of all religious communities, is the best way to restore calm and give all Egyptians a stake in the future stability and prosperity of their country.”
April 8, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
“I am concerned by recent violence at Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo.
“We welcome the condemnation by President Morsi, and his commitment to protect the Coptic community following this troubling incident.
“It is our hope that increased dialogue will help quell any tensions that may exist.
“Canada believes in the fundamental right to practise one’s faith in peace and security, free of persecution and free of fear.
“Canada will continue to promote religious freedom and pluralism around the world through our newly established Office of Religious Freedom.
“Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of the victims.”
March 15, 2013 - Canada’s ambassador to Libya, Michael Grant, today issued the following statement:
Canada is deeply concerned about the recent attacks on religious minorities in Libya and condemns the recent burning of a Coptic Christian church in Benghazi.
Canada recognizes the challenges facing the Government of Libya as Libya proceeds on its way to democracy. Canada joins the international community in urging Libyan authorities to ensure respect for human rights, including freedom of religion, and urges action to prevent incitement to violence against anyone based on religious beliefs.