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Baird Encourages Religious Freedom and Pluralism in Visits to Nigerian Holy Sites

By Canada - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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ABUJA, Nigeria, October 9, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today visited the National Mosque and National Church of Nigeria.

Baird underscored that freedom of religion is a universal human right, and that attacks on religious minorities cannot be tolerated.

Canada is a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world, he said.

Canada mourns the losses Nigeria has faced due to violent extremism, particularly in the country's north where economic conditions have been exploited by terrorists and used as a pretext for sectarian violence. Several churches have been attacked and worshippers killed or injured. Baird pledged Canada's support in the Nigerian government's efforts to encourage pluralism and its struggle against all forms of extremism.