Petition expresses support for refugee

Published June 1, 2004

A sign outside St. Mark’s church, Halifax, informing the public how long Sanja Pecelj has been in sanctuary.

Synod delegates from the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, led by Bishop Sue Moxley, urged General Synod delegates to sign a petition addressed to the minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada asking that a woman who has been in sanctuary at St. Mark’s church, Halifax, for more than a year be allowed to stay in the country.

Bishop Moxley, suffragan (assistant) bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, has expressed fears that Sanja Pecelj, who sought refuge in the church since April 8, 2003, when her application for refugee status was denied in 2002, will be deported.

Ms. Pecelj later applied for immigrant status on humanitarian and compassionate grounds but it was denied on June 3.

Her application was denied “for no reason,” the petition said. The petition asked that “the Canada-wide warrant for her arrest be lifted” and that her request to make her file public would be granted.

Ms. Pecelj came to Canada from Kosovo in 2000, when she worked as a United Nations translator at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Cornwallis, N.S.

Her supporters have set up a Web site with an online petition and information on how to contact the immigration minister:


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