Dr. Andrew Bennett – First Ambassador of the Office of Religious Freedom

Former Sheptytsky Institute Student and Vice-President of MASI Foundation Named First Ambassador of the Office of Religious Freedom

 February 20, 2013 – On February 19th, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper named Dr. Andrew Bennett as Canada’s first Ambassador for the Office of Religious Freedom. Dr. Bennett is a leading scholar in the field of religious studies and a leader in his community. He serves as Subdeacon and Cantor with the Holy Cross Eastern Catholic Chaplaincy and the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian-Catholic Shrine, both located in Ottawa.

Andrew Bennett with PM Stephen Harper

1) Prime Minister Harper meeting with Dr. Bennett.


Andrew Bennett with PM Stephen Harper Pic 2

2) Prime Minister Harper and Dr. Bennett.

 For a biography of Dr. Andrew Bennett, please visit: http://www.international.gc.ca/religious_freedom-liberte_de_religion/bio_bio.aspx

 *For copies of the images, please email your request to Jason.Kenney@parl.gc.ca*

Dr. Andrew Bennett, a former student of the Sheptytsky Institute, was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the position of Ambassador of the Office of Religious Freedom. The announcement was made during a ceremony near Toronto on February 19, 2013. Until recently, Dr. Bennett had also served as vice-president of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation.

All of Canada’s major papers carried front-page or otherwise prominent coverage of the appointment. CBC, CTV and other media also featured the event. In almost all of the coverage, reference was made to Dr. Bennett’s connection to the Sheptytsky Institute. His service as a subdeacon in the Ukrainian Catholic Church was also frequently mentioned. Dr. Bennett has served at the Eastern Catholic Chaplaincy of Ottawa and also attends St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine in Ottawa.

Dr. Bennett has worked for various federal departments and agencies, including the influential Privy Council Office. He has extensive background in political science, history, and religious studies. His PhD is in political theory.

Prime Minister Harper stated: “Dr. Bennett is a man of principle and deep convictions and he will encourage the protection of religious minorities around the world so all can practice their faith without fear of violence and repression.”

The Sheptytsky Institute sincerely congratulates its former student and Foundation Board member, and wishes him many years – Mnohaya lita – in peace, health and joy.