New National Advocate for Religious Freedom in Canada



May 9, 2018

OTTAWA – Today, Cardus launched the Cardus Religious Freedom Institute (CRFI) – a new national advocate for the defence of domestic religious freedom. Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett, who will lead the CRFI, says the new Institute comes at a crucial time in our national life.

“When Canadians are compelled to violate their consciences in order to participate in a public program like Canada Summer Jobs or regulators of the legal profession can marginalize a faith-based university because the school’s religious beliefs, you know we’ve reached a new low in Canadian religious freedom,” he says. “Respect for public faith has degraded so dramatically that we need to re-educate our public institutions about it.”

A multi-faith advisory council will provide counsel to Rev. Dr. Bennett and the CRFI. 

The CRFI will research Canadian religious freedom issues in order to educate Canadians and to strengthen the national network of religious freedom advocates.

“Central to the Institute’s work is the understanding that religious freedom is the fundamental right of all people, their communities, and their institutions to live out their most deeply held beliefs in both public and private contexts,” he says.

Rev. Dr. Bennett is one of Canada’s top advocates for religious freedom, having served as Canada’s first ambassador for religious freedom. He is also a senior fellow of the Washington D.C.-based Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) where he serves as a leader of the RFI’s Action Teams for International Religious Freedom Policy and for North America.

To arrange for interviews with Rev. Dr. Bennett, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis.


Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus - Director of Communications
613-241-4500 x508


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.