Canada Condemns Targeting of Worshippers in Iraq

August 25, 2014 – Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“Canada condemns the targeted killings of Iraqi Shiite Muslim worshipers near Baghdad today and of Sunni Muslim worshipers in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala on Friday. These vicious attacks, which claimed the lives of several dozen innocent civilians, only serve to inflame sectarian tensions among Iraqis.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and to those injured in the attacks.

“Such violence perpetrated against any faith community must not be tolerated. Attacks on Muslims from both traditions who were seeking to practise their faith are completely unacceptable. As Canada has said, democracy cannot find fertile ground in any society where freedom of religion, including the freedom to worship in peace and security, is not respected.

“Canada calls upon Iraqi leaders to come together and govern for all Iraqis, regardless of religion, for the sake of the security, democracy and prosperity that the Iraqi people are striving to implant in their country.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada 343-203-7700 media@international.gc.ca Twitter: @FreedomReligion and @DFATDCanada Facebook: Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom