2023: General Assembly adopted a recommendation that congregations and individuals be encouraged to advocate for legislative changes that would enable Canadian civil society organizations like PWS&D to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. Natural disasters and decades of conflict and sanctions has left 24.4 million Afghans requiring humanitarian assistance. The UN called upon the international community to make a humanitarian exception to sanctions against the Taliban. Such an exception would allow organizations like PWS&D to resume their development and relief programming within Afghanistan, enabling vital humanitarian assistance, but Canada has yet to provide an avenue for humanitarian agencies to continue operations in Afghanistan. Without such an avenue, organizations like PWS&D cannot resume development and relief programming and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan continues to worsen. (A&P 2023, pp. 205, 195-6)


1996: General Assembly adopted a report commenting on the political, trade and human rights situation in China and urged the Government of China to peacefully solve regional conflicts. (A&P 1996, pp. 278-294, 48-49)

1990: General Assembly sent a message of support to the China Christian Council as it sought to witness and serve the people of China following the 1989 massacre (Tiananmen Square). (A&P 1990, pp. 412, 62)

1989: General Assembly approved a letter to the Government of China, condemning the massacre of unarmed civilians by government forces (Tiananmen Square). (A&P 1989, p. 36)


2015: General Assembly expressed concern to the Governments of Canada and India about attacks on Christians and other religious minorities in India by extremist Hindu organizations. (A&P 2015, pp.297-8, 26-7)

2011: General Assembly expressed support to the Church of North India and the Church of South India for endeavors to tackle the caste system. General Assembly encouraged the Canadian government to: 1) raise human rights violations against the Dalit and the Indigenous peoples of India before United Nations Human Rights Council and 2) integrate human rights assessments and in all free trade negotiations with the Government of India. (A&P 2011, pp. 288-90, 17)

1998: General Assembly asked the Canadian government to continue raising concerns about human rights abuses in India. (A&P 1998, pp. 292-295, 33)


2000: General Assembly asked the Government of Canada to intercede with the Government of Indonesia, to seek an end to sectarian violence and to safeguard human rights for all citizens in Indonesia. (A&P 2000, p. 19) Context note: Throughout 2000 and 2001, severe sectarian violence between the Muslim majority and the Hindu/Christian/animist minority resulted in many deaths.


2016: General Assembly expressed concern to the Canadian and Japanese governments at the increasing xenophobia, hate speech and harassment directed at minorities in Japan and urged the Government of Japan to reconsider its opposition to legislation that would criminalize both hate speech and hate crimes. General Assembly wrote to the Korean Christian Church in Japan expressing support for their efforts to combat xenophobia and hate speech. (A&P 2016, pp. 306-314, 23)

1990: General Assembly sent a message of support and encouragement to the Korean Christian Church in Japan and to PCC missionaries. It asked the Canadian government to express concern regarding the treatment of non-Japanese citizens residing in Japan, especially those of Korean descent. (A&P 1990, p. 63)

1987: General Assembly urged Presbyterians to pray for the McIntosh family (PCC missionaries in Japan) and to write to the Government of Japan, supporting the elimination of compulsory fingerprinting and the requirement to carry one’s alien registration card at all times. (A&P 1987, pp. 427-428, 24)

1986: Rev. Dr. Jack McIntosh (PCC missionary in Japan) refused to be fingerprinted and, as a result, the Government of Japan refused to grant him an extension of his residence permit (In 1987 he initiated a court action against the Japanese Ministry of Justice and the Immigration Department for abusing their discretionary powers when dealing with those who had refused to be fingerprinted). General Assembly called on the Government of Japan to cease withholding re-entry permits from those who had refused fingerprinting. (A&P 1986, pp. 465, 45)

1985: General Assembly supported a campaign against compulsory fingerprinting (see details in 1986, above). It urged the Government of Japan to withdraw all charges laid against those who refused to be fingerprinted and to eliminate the requirement of fingerprinting. (A&P 1985, pp. 436-437, 32)

1981: General Assembly adopted a report regarding the Korean Christian Church in Japan’s struggle for the recognition of human rights abuses and discrimination against Koreans in Japan. The matter was taken up both with the UN Human Rights Commission and the American Embassy in response to a State Department report, which commented favorably on the human rights situation in Japan. (A&P 1981, p. 432)

Korean Peninsula

2016: General Assembly wrote to the Government of Canada urging support for the release of the Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim. Rev. Lim is a Canadian citizen given a life sentence with hard labour by the Supreme Court of North Korea. (A&P 2016, pp. 306-314, 23)

2009: General Assembly urged: 1) that the Government of Canada denounce the judicial process that convicted two US journalists; 2) the Government of South Korea to ensure that the human rights of refugees would be protected and that the principle of non-refoulement would be respected; 3) the Government of North Korea to cease nuclear testing; and 4) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to express concern for refugees fleeing North Korea. (A&P 2009, p. 40)

1989: General Assembly praised the government of South Korea for being open to public discussion on reunification and for taking steps to reduce tension with North Korea. General Assembly encouraged the Government of Canada to pursue friendlier relations with North Korea by facilitating academic and cultural exchanges, supporting the reduction of militarization in the region and by encouraging a phased withdrawal of foreign troops (Canada has been a member of the United Nations Temporary Commission for Korea since 1947). General Assembly counseled against any Government of Canada support for a Two Koreas policy, which would perpetuate the division of the country. (A&P 1989, pp. 369-376, 54, 63; 385-386, 64)

1987: General Assembly assured the Presbyterian Church of Korea of its support for them in their struggle for democracy and reunification. General Assembly expressed concern to the Canadian government over human rights violations in South Korea, including the use of torture, illegal detention and suppression of information. General Assembly urged the Government of Canada to pressure the South Korean government to end such practices (A student at Seoul National University died on Jan. 14, 1987, after being tortured and illegally detained at National Police Headquarters). (A&P 1987, pp. 426, 24; 343-344, 33)

1976: General Assembly expressed its distress concerning the imprisonment and intimidation of Koreans to the Government of Korea and the Government of Canada. (A&P 1976, p. 41)

1975: The church sent letters to the National Christian Council of Korea, President Pak of South Korea, the Korean embassy, the Canadian Embassy in Seoul, and the Korean desk of the Department of External Affairs regarding the suppression of free speech in South Korea and the imprisonment of Korean ministers and students seeking open discussion on the proposed Korean Constitution. The church asked the Canadian government to withhold aid and to not proceed with the sale of a nuclear reactor to South Korea. (A&P 1975, pp. 238, 268)


2019: General Assembly commended the Government of Canada for placing sanctions on seven Myanmar military officials, for its pledge of $300,000,000 in aid for Rohingya refugees and for becoming the first country in the world to declare the actions of the Myanmar military against the Rohingya as an act of genocide. The General Assembly asked for increased aid for Rohingya refugees and asked the Government of Canada to consider invoking Article VIII of the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide against the Government of Myanmar. (A&P 2019, p. 29, 274-276)

2018: General Assembly wrote to the Canadian government affirming its humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya and inquiring about whether it will impose sanctions on high-ranking Myanmar military officers and government officials complicit in gross human rights violations. General Assembly inquired if there are Canadian corporations operating in areas of Myanmar where there is conflict and human rights violations. (A&P 2018, pp. 281-283, 22)

1991: General Assembly supported the efforts of Amnesty International to protect human rights in the region of Burma (now called Myanmar) and Indochina. Context note: In 1991, Burma was under military rule, while Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were all recovering from war. In Cambodia, the Khmer-Rouge ran a brutal dictatorship, which resulted in genocide and a Vietnamese invasion). (A&P 1991, pp. 311-316, 57)


1990: General Assembly encouraged congregations to become informed about human rights violations in the Philippines and asked the Government of Canada to encourage the Government of the Philippines to provide better conditions for internal refugees who were fleeing military evacuations. It criticized the persecution and harassment of church workers, non-government organizations, human rights workers and union organizations that were seeking to promote justice. General Assembly reminded the Canadian Manufacturing Association to respect the land rights of peasants and to adhere to international standards of environmental protection. (A&P 1990, pp. 406, 62)

Sri Lanka

1990: General Assembly called on the Government of Canada to work for international mediation of the conflict in Sri Lanka and to refrain from the involuntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees (the conflict pitted the Sinhalese majority against the Tamil minority in the north. Conflict began in 1983 with a Tamil demand for an independent state). (A&P 1990, pp. 402, 62)


2018: General Assembly adopted a response to an overture requesting that the church enter into a dialogue with the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan regarding the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) (a high number of the PCT’s members are Indigenous peoples). The church will look to the PCT for leadership in this dialogue. (A&P 2018, pp. 294-5, 22)

1995: General Assembly expressed support for the right of the Taiwanese people to advocate independence and to determine their own future. (A&P 1995, p. 72)

1990: General Assembly sent a message of concern and support to Mr. Yih-sheh Leo, (a citizen of Canada and Taiwan) who had been arrested in Taiwan. He was initially charged with entering Taiwan illegally and then another charge of “preparing to illegally overthrow the government” was added. General Assembly urged the Canadian government to do everything in its power to secure his release. (A&P 1990, pp. 557, 38)

1987: General Assembly expressed to the Government of Canada its concern for human rights violations in Taiwan. (A&P 1987, pp. 425-426, 24)

1980: General Assembly learned that government oppression of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) had intensified. The persecution of the church culminated in the arrest of 50 Taiwanese, including Dr. C.M. Kao, General Secretary of the PCT. General Assembly called on the Taiwanese authorities to review the situation and “urged the Government of Canada and Canadian groups carrying on trade and commerce with Taiwan to find effective ways to express concern about the denial of basic human rights to many Taiwanese.” General Assembly urged the Government of Canada and Canadians involved in trade with Taiwan to express concern for the denial of human rights to many Taiwanese. (A&P 1980, pp. 474, 52-53)

1972: General Assembly noted that acceptance of China by the United Nations could have a negative impact on the people of Taiwan. (A&P 1972, p. 202)


1973: General Assembly called for the end of the war, while re-affirming support for humanitarian aid and any peacekeeping role Canada might play. (A&P 1973, pp. 305, 51)

1967: General Assembly called for peace negotiations and expressed appreciation for the efforts of the Secretary General of the UN. (A&P 1967, pp. 69-70, 93-94, 99, 103)

1966: General Assembly called for an immediate cease-fire and plans for a negotiated settlement in Vietnam. It asked that humanitarian aid be sent to both north and south Vietnam and asked the Government of Canada to seek to secure the release of three missionaries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance who had been taken prisoner by the Viet Cong. (A&P 1966, pp. 339, 81, 99)

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