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March 26, 2014
Doug McKenzie

At The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), it is my privilege to provide leadership to a remarkable team of people who have wholeheartedly committed themselves to serving people of faith around the world – those being mercilessly persecuted simply because they have chosen to follow and proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ. I believe in the principle and practise of “Religious Freedom,” and applaud recent efforts in Canada to establish an Office of Religious Freedom.

As one of the fundamental beliefs arising from the increasingly global focus on “human rights,” the freedom of “religion” (representing the faith or absence of such) and “worship” (in regards to the practise of that faith) are self-evident and inalienable rights that, I believe, speak directly to the heart of God who embedded in the DNA of all creation the right to choose what to believe in and whom to follow. As a God of “love,” He has instituted this principal as a means of forming true love-bond relationships with His children, as opposed to imposing a robotic loyalty devoid of the conviction of our will.

Many nations, legitimate convictions aside, in an effort to ensure their access to world markets and/or to be politically correct, may now raise the flag of human rights and the derivative rights of free religion, while masking some modern-day societal realities. Despite the apparent liberties implied by such generous declarations, our mission (VOMC) stands on guard in the midst of heightened persecution specifically targeted against Christians. It may come subtly, or not so subtly, as there are nations that “allow” Christian churches to exist, provided they are state or historical Orthodox churches, churches registered with the government, or churches that adhere to highly restrictive criteria and theology. This is particularly true in respect to the matter of “conversion” where, in many parts of the world, it’s considered to be a most heinous crime.

On the latter note, I would offer two important comments. First, in regards to human rights and religious freedom in general, it has become clear to me that many countries will accept the inalienable and equal rights of individuals as being self-evident and undeniable. Yet the governing authorities of these nations are not necessarily willing to accept that, for there to be such universal rights, there must first be a morally good and just “Rights-Giver.”

Secondly, a Christian who has been imbued with the truth and life of the Holy Spirit is, thereby, compelled to follow Jesus and serve Him in the “Great Commission” of spreading the “Good News of the Gospel.” Conversion is, therefore, involuntary and inevitable as it is motivated and empowered by the Spirit of God.

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Doug J. McKenzie is the Chief Executive Officer of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), an independent Canadian registered charitable organization and a religious order that serves people around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ (www.persecution.net). His career background includes over 40 years in the media and communications fields as the founder of one of Canada’s largest television and film post-production studios, co-founder of an Academy Award-winning technology group, vice chair of the Task Force for the Implementation of Digital TV (as commissioned by Heritage Canada), interim CEO of Visual Bible International of Nashville, and many other media-related roles. He served as President of Divisions of Maclean Hunter and Rogers Communications respectively. Throughout his career, he also served on the boards of many Christian ministries including, for the past 15 years, governor of Tyndale University College & Seminary, founding director and current treasurer of VISIONLEDD, and chairman of the South Carolina-based, AMAZON FOCUS.  

 



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