International Conference on Religious Freedom
Ottawa— March 11, 2015—International Christian Voice, in collaboration with the Office of International Religious Freedom- Canada, organized an International Conference on Religious Freedom in order to address the various difficulties being faced by countries under attack for religious freedom. This conference was also organized to commemorate the life and struggles of human rights champion Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti.
The conference was held at the Parliament Building on 1 Wellington St, Ottawa, Canada. People from different walks of life participated including dignitaries. It began by Rev. Dr. Rashid Gill who said the opening prayer and then briefed the audience on the work and purpose of conference organizer International Christian Voice. The speakers for session one, moderated by Mr. Tahir Aslam Gora (Founder, Canadian Thinkers Forum & Muslim Committee against Anti-Semitism), included Fr. Angelos Saad (Chairman & Spiritual leader, Canadian Coptic Center) who addressed the Root Causes of Religious Extremism in the Middle East, followed by Hon. Senator Don Meredith who shed light on the Issues Surrounding Religious Freedom in Africa. Imam Abdul Hai Patel (President, Ontario Multi-faith Council & Director, Interfaith Relations-Canadian Council of Imams) addressed the Issues Surrounding Religious Freedom in Asia.
The second session which proceeded after a lunch break was moderated by Mr. Tanveer Joseph (Vice Chairman, International Christian Voice). The key speaker, Hon. Dr. Paul Bhatti (Former Minister of National Harmony and Minority Affairs, Pakistan Chairman, Shahbaz Bhatti Memorial Trust and All Pakistan Minorities Alliance), discussed the Growing of Religious Intolerance and Extremism in Pakistan.
The speakers for session three, moderated by Dr. Colin Saldanha, were Hon. Ambassador Dr. Andrew Bennet (Canadian office of Religious Freedom), Hon. Ambassador Jackie Wolcott (US Commission on International Religious Freedom), Hon. David Kilgour (Former Canadian Secretary of State) and Fr. Robert McCulloch (Missionary Society of St. Columbian-Italy). The topic discussed during this session was How Canada and the rest of the Democratic World is affected by Religious Intolerance and Extremism.
Every session concluded with a question and answer period which allowed participants to ask questions from the panel speakers. All questions were answered enthusiastically by the speakers present.
The conference was concluded by a Celebration of the Life of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti, hosted by Ms. Nitasha Bhatti (General Secretary, International Christian Voice). This session was graced by Hon. Minister Jason Kenney (Minister of National Defense and Multiculturism, Canada), Hon. Dr. Paul Bhatti, Hon. Ambassador Jackie Wolcott and Ms. Lesley- Anne Leighton (Missionary & Human Rights Activist, New Zealand). The speakers shared their fond memories of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti and paid tribute to his life and achievements.
Mr. Peter Bhatti (Chairman, International Christian Voice) in closing thanked all the participants and speakers for making the conference successful and helping reach conclusive results. The conference closed with a prayer by Pastor Michael Corretti (Weston Road Pentecostal Church) followed by dinner.
International Christian Voice
International Christian Voice
Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Proverbs 31:8
Welcome to International Christian Voice
International Christian Voice (ICV) is a human rights organization that talks about and works for Love, Peace, Prosperity and Harmony amongst the Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan according to the teachings of our Saviour Lord Jesus Christ.
ICV recognizes the suffering of Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan and is dedicated to being the voice of the oppressed and work for their basic human rights which are suppressed.
International Christian Voice is committed to secure, preserve, protect and promote the religious, social, economic and political rights of the voiceless and helpless victims irrespective of colour, caste or creed.
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The International Christian Voice exists to glorify God by being Canada’s effective and reliable source of information and support of the marginalized
Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated on Wednesday during an attack on his vehicle in Islamabad.
Shahbaz Bhatti, son of Jacob Bhatti was born on September 9,1968 in Faisalabad, Pakistan,
Bhatti was the first Christian parliamentarian who was offered and took oath as Federal Minister of Minorities Affairs in Pakistan. His predecessors had been offered only a state minister position
Bhatti was one of the founding members of the organisation ‘All Pakistan Minorities Alliance’ (APMA) in 1985 and was considered a representative of the religious minorities in Pakistan.
Bhatti joined Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) in 2002. As a political leader, he had continuously asked minority groups to fight for their rights through the system instead of using violence. He was considered great admirer of Pakistan’s founder Jinnah and a true patriot.