A Short History of Protection

Church sanctuary is part of a long tradition, yet it comes with a price

Sarah McGregor
Published: Wednesday, 08/11/2004 12:00 am EDT

Just over one year ago, the congregation of St. Andrews-Norwood United Church in Montreal convened on a Friday afternoon to hear testimony from a panel of experts on refugee policy, and a deported Colombian family asking for church sanctity. The hearing appealed to their moral sense, but also offered facts. The choice: offer asylum to the Vega family, in Canada illegally, or send them home to confront violence and torture.

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