Centre For Inquiry Canada continues to develop forward-thinking relationships to provide support and assistance for Canadian and international secular humanists. On December 22, 2014, Kevin Smith (Chair of the Board of Directors) and Eric Adriaans (National Executive Director) invited Eric Thomas (President of Humanist Canada) to participate in CFI Canada’s second meeting with Ambassador Andrew Bennett of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom (ORF).
CFI Canada and Humanist Canada (HC) share many concerns regarding the welfare and human rights of atheists, humanists and secular humanists. Eric Thomas, of HC commented: “it was evident that collective and concerted effort towards the development of “human dignity” on the international stage is a shared objective. The Humanist Canada focus on an inclusive perspective as part of its educational mandate is well served by participating with the Office of Religious Freedom led by Ambassador Bennett. We are committed to the development of new venues as active partners. The Humanist Canada Board and its national membership sincerely appreciate the opportunity to participate.
CFIC had previously met with Ambassador Bennett in the Spring of 2013 to discuss the mandate of the ORF and CFIC’s position that atheists and non-believers must be provided the same protections as religious minorities when facing persecution by religious governmental regimes. Since that meeting, CFIC has been pleased to observe Ambassador Bennett’s support of CFI’s work to support Raif Badawi at the United Nations Human Rights Council (CFI Transnational’s Michael DeDora advocacy work of June 2014) as well as his comments on the subject of freedom from religion: