The Common Good
March-April 2002

Evangelicals Fight Anti-Terrorism Bill

by Rose Marie Berger, Jodi Hochstedler | March-April 2002

Canadian evangelicals took on Ottawa's far-reaching anti-terrorism bill last
winter and won some changes.

Canadian evangelicals took on Ottawa's far-reaching anti-terrorism bill last winter and won some changes. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada was concerned that the bill as it was originally proposed would put a chill on the legitimate work that faith-based Canadian charities do internationally. "Many Christian charities provide humanitarian assistance in conflict-ridden areas where those who are engaged in terrorist activities, or their families, might avail themselves of food aid [or] hospital or dental services," EFC stated in the letter they sent in November to members of parliament.

"At times, the charities must obtain permission from groups that might be considered terrorist entities, such as outlawed militia groups in Colombia or the SPLA in Sudan, in order to operate in that area." Jane Epp Buckingham, EFC's legal counsel, expressed her worry. "Where the consequences for a charity are de-registration," Buckingham said, "charities have good reason to be very concerned."

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