Mennonites may lose Canadian citizenship

Jan. 24, 2007 at 7:46 PM
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Canadian government may rescind the citizenship of hundreds of members of the Mennonite religious movement due to a legal technicality.

Because nearly 7,000 ancestors of the Christian Anabaptist movement moved to Latin America in the 1920s, the hundreds of members residing in Canada may lose their citizenship, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Several Mennonite members married while in Mexico, which does not recognize such church weddings as legally binding. Therefore, any children they had after marriage would not legally be considered Canadian citizens.

"Your grandfather is considered to be born out of wedlock and doesn't have a claim to citizenship," said Anna Fehr, one of those whose Canadian citizenship is in question. "Consequently, your father is not entitled to Canadian citizenship, and you can't claim citizenship under your father for same reason."

Fehr is promoting a drive to have the Canadian government grant amnesty for the hundreds of targeted Mennonites, to allow them to remain in the North American country, the CBC said.

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