Upholding the importance and centrality of religious freedom in our common life

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

CRFI will operate in a bridge-building capacity, providing a link between the research and the advocates who use it. The CRFI will also provide language and vocabulary to help express why religious freedom is important and how it relates to public faith.

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 without interference from the state or other authorities.

The work of CRFI will be guided by an multi-faith advisory council with representatives from Canada’s Baha’i, Christian, Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim communities.



Meet the Director:
Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett


The Rev. Dr. Andrew P.W. Bennett is Program Director for Cardus Law. He is an ordained deacon in the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in the Eparchy (Diocese) of Toronto and Eastern Canada.

Fr. Deacon Andrew served as Canada’s first Ambassador for Religious Freedom and Head of the Office of Religious Freedom from 2013 to 2016 during which time he led in defending and championing religious freedom internationally as a core element of Canada’s principled foreign policy. At the same time, he served as Canada’s Head of Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, a 31-country body which leads international efforts in Holocaust education, research, and remembrance.

As Director of Cardus Law, Fr. Deacon Andrew works to promote religious freedom, as we broaden our commentary on issues faced in Canada and around the world. This is consistent with his passion for religious freedom and the importance of public faith. In conjunction with his work at Cardus, Fr. Deacon Andrew holds the position of Senior Fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) in Washington, DC. The RFI is an independent think-tank committed to achieving broad acceptance of religious liberty as a fundamental human right, the cornerstone of a successful society, and a source of national and international security.

Fr. Deacon Andrew holds a Ph.D. in Politics (2002) from the University of Edinburgh as well as degrees in history from McGill and Dalhousie universities. When not praying, studying, or advocating, Fr. Deacon Andrew can be found with his fly rod in a stream, listening to bluegrass or Bach, or reading the Church Fathers.

The CRFI Advisory Council

Barry W. Bussey

Director of Legal Affairs at Canadian Council of Christian Charities

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Editor-in-Chief of Convivium; Chaplain at Newman House; Cardus Senior Fellow

Karen Stiller

Senior editor of Faith Today magazine

Taleeb Noormohamed

Vancouver based technology entrepreneur and investor – and community volunteer

Dr. Robert Joustra

Editor of the Public Justice Review; Associate Professor of Politics & International Studies at Redeemer University College

Dr. Douglas Farrow

Professor of Theology and Christian Thought at McGill University

Rabbi Daniel Korobkin

Rabbinic leader of Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT)

Dr. Paul S. Rowe

Professor of Political and International Studies at Trinity Western University

Archbishop J. Michael Miller

Archbishop of Vancouver

Dr. Dwight Newman

Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional Law and International Law at the University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies

Founder of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance

Photo by Michael Swan of the Catholic Register

Dr. Moira McQueen

Executive Director of the Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute

Geoffrey Cameron

Director of the Office of Public Affairs for the Baha’i Community of Canada

Dr. Ellen Roderick

Co-director of the Diocesan Centre for Marriage, Life and the Family

Elder G. Lawrence (Larry) Spackman

Area Seventy, a lay position with The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints

Kristina Arriaga de Bulchoz

Vice Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

André Schutten

Director of Law & Policy and General Legal Counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada

Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham

Professor at Trinity Western University and the Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre

Dr. Kent R. Hill

Executive Director of the Religious Freedom Institute

Abba Brodt

Director General of Hebrew Foundation School

CRFI in the News

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
July 18, 2018

Podcast Episode: Religious Freedom in the Context of Diplomacy

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Hope 103.2
June 28, 2018

What Canada’s Law School Decision Means For Religious Freedom

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National Catholic Register
June 28, 2018

Canadian Top Court Renders ‘Severe Blow’ to Religious Freedom in Trinity Western Case

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The B.C. Catholic
June 21, 2018

Welcome to our Brave New Charter

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The Catholic Register
June 20, 2018

Religious leaders examine path ahead after court’s ruling against Trinity Western

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CBC News
June 15, 2018

Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett on The National (minute 14:30)

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Christianity Today
June 15, 2018

Canada’s Supreme Court Rejects Country’s Only Christian Law School

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June 15, 2018

Trinity Western Loses

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May 22, 2018

Religion, Freedom, Citizenship

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