A nos participants francophones, veuillez noter que la conférence sera également traduite simultanément en français.
To protect and promote freedom for gospel proclamation in Canada
In John 15:18-19, Jesus promised that if the world hated Him, it would hate His followers too. This means Canadian Christians shouldn’t be surprised when an increasingly secular culture begins to discriminate against Christians for our faith.
This year’s Religious Freedom Summit features stories of Canadian Christians who have faced adversity because of their Christian values including beliefs about sexuality, the value of life and even evangelism. They’ve been kicked out of their rental facilities, suspended from school or even forced to leave their jobs. We’ll also hear from key Christian leaders who will help provide analysis of how we got here and show what the church needs to do moving forward.
The conference speakers will challenge Christians to fight for the common good of everyone. In particular, we must protect the right to proclaim and hear the gospel. This is because we know that not only did Jesus warn us that we would be hated, He still chose to die to save sinners like us. In the same way, we His people must be willing to sacrificially pray and care for those who persecute us. Beyond seeking the good of the city, we specifically need to proclaim the gospel and live with integrity as Christ’s disciples. We need to show Canadians that we still have good news to offer in the marketplace.
Online stream and in-person at the Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa
Date & Time
February 4, 2023 01:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST 02:30 PM - 6:00 PM NST 02:00 PM - 5:30 PM AST 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM CST 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM MST 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM PST
Our main conference speakers will speak from their expertise and experiences in law, politics, theology and history to provide an explanation for why the west has moved away from protecting religious liberties. Drawing from their own personal and work history, they will provide insight on how Canadian Christians can prepare for a culture increasingly censoring the gospel and Christian beliefs in the marketplace. At the same time, they’ll remind us of our duty to daily take up our cross and suffer for Christ while avoiding stoking any sense of a victim mentality.
Other speakers are Canadians who will share their stories of how they have been discriminated against because of their faith. Whether it’s a loss of a job or a rental facility their church was using, their stories point to a growing trend where our faith is severely hampered by unjust laws or discriminatory business practices.
Host and Emcee
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOr, CHRISTIAN EMBASSY OF CANADA
Darlene has served with the Christian Embassy of Canada for six years as the Deputy Director prior to becoming the Executive Director in May 2012. In December 2012, Darlene was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work with the Christian Embassy for the benefit of diplomats and government leaders.
She earned Bachelor's degrees in French Literature and in Education at Queen’s University with a year of study at Université Laval. Darlene later completed a Masters in Theological Studies from Tyndale University and Seminary.
She taught and initiated French Immersion programs in schools across Ontario and New Brunswick. Subsequently, she worked for eight years with students to help them discover and grow in faith in Christ and in their leadership skills at UBC and Université de Sherbrooke. Darlene is married to Harold Albrecht and together they have three children and nine grandchildren.
SENIOR PASTOR, L'Église Chrétienne du Plateau
André Constant is the senior pastor of l'Église Chrétienne du Plateau in Gatineau Québec for the past 40 years. He has a Master’s in pastoral studies with SEMBEQ. He has been married to Renate since 1983, a father of three adult children and grand-father of 4 grand children (a fifth is arriving soon). He has a passion for biblical theology of worship, the French language and jazz.
Pastor EmerituS, Moody Media
Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church where he served as the Senior Pastor for 36 years. He earned a B.Th. from Winnipeg Bible College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, a M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LL.D. from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law. A clear expositor of the Bible, he is the featured speaker on three radio programs heard on more than 1,000 outlets in the United States and around the world. Pastor Lutzer is also an award-winning author of numerous books. His speaking engagements outside of The Moody Church include Bible conferences and seminars, both domestically and internationally including: Russia, the Republic of Belarus, Germany, Scotland, Guatemala, and Japan. He has led tours to Israel and to the cities of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.
member of parliament, Finland
Päivi Räsänen is a medical doctor and has been a Member of the Finnish Parliament for 27 years. She is the chair of the Christian Democratic Parliamentary Group. From 2004 to 2015, she was the chairwoman of the Finnish Christian Democrats. From June 2011 to May 2015, she was the Minister of the Interior of Finland. She lives in Riihimäki with her husband. They have five grown-up children and 10 grandchildren. She is also a member of Riihimäki City Council and a member of Church council. She has written several books from a Christian perspective, for example on marriage, abortion and euthanasia.
DIRECTOR, JUSTICE CENTRE FOR CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMs
Samuel Bachand is the JCCF Director for French Canada. He also acts as the primary external counsel for the JCCF legal network in Quebec. Samuel is a frequent speaker on current issues affecting fundamental freedoms: proposed legislation, court cases, government actions. He is passionate about expressive, political and religious freedoms. Samuel worked for a few years at Woods LLP, the foremost litigation boutique in Montreal and, prior to joining CJLC, worked at Prévost Fortin D'Aoust with one of Canada's leading constitutional lawyers. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 2011 and the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) since 2012. He is a law graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and Université de Montréal where he taught from 2012 to 2020 as a law lecturer.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHRISTIAN MEDICAL AND DENTAL ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
Larry Worthen is the Executive Director of the Christian Medical and Dental Association of Canada. He is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School (1981) who has had a career in management in the not-for-profit sector and Nova Scotia Department of Justice. He is a trained facilitator and adult educator. Larry is married to Dr. Linda Gagnon and resides in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He is an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church. In May of 2013, he graduated from the Atlantic School of Theology with his MA in Theology and Religious Studies. His thesis outlines the role of proclamation in the New Evangelization. Larry and Linda have two children, six grandsons and two granddaughters.
Dr. Kelli Palfy began her professional career working in adult and youth corrections. She then went on to become an RCMP officer who specialized in sex crimes committed against children internationally. After retiring from the RCMP, Dr. Palfy obtained her Ph.D. in Counselling Psychology. She is now a trained trauma therapist and public speaker on the topic of male sexual abuse. Dr. Palfy currently runs a small private practice where she works with male survivors of abuse. Dr. Kelli Palfy is the author of, Men Too: Unspoken Truths About Male Sexual Abuse and the Creating Personal Safety Series for Children. She lives in Edmonton, AB.
Principal Teacher, Compass LEARNING Center
Victoria Hunt is a married mother of 5 young adult children. She has worked in Private Christian and secular education for 21 years, instructing PreK/Elementary students, overseeing departments for Early Learning as well as working as a post-secondary instructor in the area of Early Learning Education, Special Education and Child and Youth Development. Currently, Victoria is the Principal Teacher at Compass Learning Centre - Cedar Grove Campus, a Group three independent Christian schools in Surrey, BC focused on Christian Education without compromise. She and her family attend Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley BC.
President, Delta Hospice Society
Angelina Ireland has been on the Board of Directors for the Delta Hospice Society for the last 5 years, serving as its President for the last 3 years. Before joining the Board, she was a client of the Society. Her journey through cancer brought her to this organization which changed her life. The changes over the last few years in patient care and the legislation introducing euthanasia are a radical departure from anything Canadians once came to expect from the healthcare system. She says, “We now must all fight against a powerful political and ideological movement embracing death as "care" which not only promises to be a cure-all for our physical ailments but our economic, social and spiritual ones as well.” Angelina Ireland lives in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
EASTERN OUTREACH DIRECTOR, Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform
Blaise Alleyne is a pro-life activist, technologist, musician, writer and public speaker. Blaise is the Eastern Outreach Director for CCBR, founder of the Toronto Against Abortion project, and co-author of CCBR’s book, A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide. He also volunteers as the Vice President of Toronto Right to Life. Blaise has had thousands of conversations about abortion over a decade and half on the streets of Toronto, and has provided support to pro-life campus and community activism groups across Ontario for years. He has been involved in the pro-life movement since joining the University of Toronto Students for Life in 2005, where he served on the executive from 2006-2010 and 2012-2019. Blaise also served as Assistant Team Leader for Ryerson Against Abortion, and Vice President of University of Toronto Mississauga Students for Life. Blaise joined the board of Toronto Right to Life in 2009, where he served as President for a decade.
Steve Brown is passionate about sharing his faith on Vancouver streets as a street preacher. One time, as he preached, by-standers filed a complaint against him with the police, claiming he was loud and hateful, something Steve denies. The police charged him for mischief. Steve reached out to Carol Crossan who took his case. After almost two years in court, his case was dismissed late last year. Steve will share his experiences preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus on the streets and the need to defend the right to continue to boldly proclaim it publicly.
William Swinimer grew up in Nova Scotia where he attended Forest Heights Community High School. As a committed Christian, he often shared his faith with his classmates. But in 2012 when he wore a T-shirt that said, “Life is wasted without Jesus,” he was suspended. As he did not want to in anyway deny Christ and still wanted to use the T-shirt as a door to share the gospel with his peers, he continued to wear it and received more and more suspensions. He still has a formal reprimand on his record today. The Education Minister of Nova Scotia at the time stated that students should NOT be able to criticize other people’s religious beliefs. The principal told him that these kind of messages are hate talk, make people feel unsafe at school, and that these kinds of messages caused people to commit suicide. William explained that he only wanted people to experience the joy, peace and life in Christ Jesus that he had found.
Päivi Räsänen - On trial for sharing her beliefs
Dr. Erwin Lutzer speaks on Christianity's unifying message
Don't miss out.
Register by February 4. We look forward to having you join us in-person or online!
UPDATE: Bill C-4 received Royal Assent on December 8. On Tuesday, December 7, Bill C-4, which criminalizes conversion therapy, passed the Senate in a single motion. It had already passed the House in a single motion on December 1.
On Tuesday, December 7th the Canadian Senate passed Bill C-4, effectively banning the practice known as conversion therapy. The bill had been introduced to the House of Commons on November 29th and was approved on December 1st without further debate or study. It received Royal Assent today and will become the law of the land in 30 days.
Our Mission is to protect and promote freedom for gospel ministry in Canada.
The Canadian Religious Freedom Summit is convened and facilitated by the Metropolitan Bible Church, Ottawa, with the gracious help and advice of the Summit’s sponsors.
Please use the following form to contact us or directly through email at [email protected].