Majed El Shafie
President & Founder, One Free World International
Majed El Shafie is a human rights advocate and founder of One Free World International (OFWI). His human rights journey started in his native Egypt that he was later forced to flee after he was severely tortured and sentenced to death for his conversion to Christianity and bringing awareness to human rights violations related to religious persecution.
Belonging to a very prominent legal and political family in Egypt, Majed had tried to work within the Egyptian system to reform the country’s human rights regime. Between the challenges he faced in these efforts, his firsthand experience as a survivor of religious persecution, the work he has engaged in since by advocating for religious freedom, confronting governments that violate this fundamental right, and conducting fact-finding missions and humanitarian/rescue operations, he has obtained significant knowledge and insight into the dynamics of persecution of religious minorities by religious extremists and totalitarian governments alike.
El Shafie has established two effective human rights organizations including One Free World International (OFWI) which is one of the leading organizations advocating for religious minorities globally and has 28 branches around the world. He has organized and led delegations of parliamentarians and religious leaders to address minority rights and humanitarian issues with government leaders, including several cabinet ministers and other high-level officials, opposition leaders, and religious leaders among others in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Cuba, India, and Bangladesh.
El Shafie has developed excellent relationships with members of the Canadian House of Commons, Senate, and Cabinet, and has built bridges with the US Congress in order to educate decision-makers about violations of religious freedom around the world. He has had the opportunity to testify numerous times before parliamentary bodies including the Subcommittee for International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, United States Congressional subcommittees and commissions, and the Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism in Canada. He has advocated on behalf of Christians, Falun Gong, Jews, Bahá’í’s, Ahmadiyya Muslims, and China’s Uyghur Muslims, among others. Leading North American and international news media have featured his work which has also been the subject of an award-winning feature-length documentary.
HONOURS AND AWARDS
2016 Raoul Wallenberg Citation for Moral Courage
2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal