Robert Joustra to speak at inaugural Religious Freedom Seminar
Redeemer professor invited by Ambassador Bennett
2 min. read
October 15, 2013

Dr. Robert Joustra, assistant professor of international studies at Redeemer University College, has been invited to speak at the Office of Religious Freedom’s Inaugural Religious Freedom Seminar in Ottawa on October 23, 2013. The invitation was extended by the Office’s Ambassador, Dr. Andrew Bennett, in recognition of Joustra’s public and academic work on the Office, and on his work on religious freedom in foreign affairs in general. “It is a real privilege to be part of these new seminars that Ambassador Bennett is hosting,” says Joustra. “In many ways, we are building on what Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, and MPs such as David Anderson and David Sweet, have long laboured: To develop a robust agenda for religious freedom—alongside and apart of other human rights—in Canadian foreign affairs.” The purpose of the ORF seminars is to seek to raise awareness about the importance of promoting and defending freedom of religion as a key Canadian foreign policy priority. Dr. Joustra will be part of a panel discussion that includes Imam Dr. Zijad Delic of the South Nepean Muslim Community Center and Masjid and Avi Benlolo, President/CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center. “Part of Redeemer University College’s mission is to contribute to the dialogue on the challenges that our society face,” notes Dr. Hubert Krygsman, Redeemer’s president. “We are pleased that Dr. Joustra has been invited to participate in this timely and important discussion.” This honour places Joustra – in the ambassador’s own words – as Canada’s leading academic expert on the topic. Joustra, however, takes a perhaps overly self-deprecating view of this appointment. “Of course I am honoured, but the Ambassador and I do like to joke that it’s not that I run so fast, it’s just not a very big race.” Sprint or marathon, Redeemer is pleased that Joustra is able to contribute to this timely and important discussion.

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