It was right down to the wire to schedule the interview with Ambassador Andrew Bennett of Canada’s Office of Religious Freedom. He was travelling the week before our interview and committed to a busy schedule after that, but he graciously made time for us just before our deadline.
As his newly created government position reached its first anniversary, we thought it important to check in to see how the work is going. Religious freedom is something Evangelicals watch carefully, even in Canada – maybe especially in Canada.
You’ll find Ambassador Bennett was careful, and rightly so, not to comment on internal Canadian politics. But we have to admit the Quebec Government’s proposed Charter of Values was on our minds as we spoke to him.
Which brings us to our cover story on Quebec, a province we all know is more secularized and post-Christian than the rest of Canada, full of remarkable challenges for its relatively tiny evangelical community.
We asked an up-and-coming Quebec writer Jenna Smith to sketch what it’s like to live out your faith in the Quebec context. Her own life experience helped her to ask just the right challenging questions as she interviewed a variety of thoughtful Quebecers.
We’re having the entire package translated into French to help further the discussion (see www.faithtoday.ca/Quebec).
That controversial Charter of Values is also tackled head on in this issue by Bruce Clemenger, president of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and publisher of Faith Today.
Across the page from Clemenger is more information related to Quebec – an interview with Pierre Bergeron, newly hired to co-ordinate the EFC’s activities in la belle province, plus a news item about the EFC’s response to Quebec’s proposal to legalize euthanasia.
As always, we welcome your thoughts in response to these articles as well as the other features on upcoming Bible movies, caring for the dying, welcoming people with disabilities in church – and all the rest.
With your input we’ll keep asking the right questions of the right people on your behalf – even when the right people are hard to reach – so that all of us can benefit.