March 16, 2014 – Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:
“Canada is concerned by reports of intimidation of Ukrainian Greek Catholic clergy in Crimea, including reports of armed men kidnapping and then releasing up to three priests.
“It is essential that all Ukrainians, regardless of their church or faith, be allowed to contribute to Ukraine’s democratic development without fear of violence.
“On behalf of all Canadians who value freedom of religion and adherence to the rule of law, we call for an end to such practices of intimidation and for those responsible to be brought to justice.
“Canada continues to support the important and peaceful role played by the clergy and other members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as well as other religious leaders in Ukraine.
“We stand with the people of Ukraine during this difficult transition as they seek to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous future in which the right to religious freedom is fully enjoyed by all.”
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