Ottawa, Canada, May 17, 2004 / 22:00 pm
A parish has sent a petition with 10,000 signatures to the Canadian Parliament early last week, requesting that three Christian Palestinians, who have sought asylum in a Catholic church, be granted residency status on humanitarian grounds.
Member of Parliament Marlene Jennings presented the petition on behalf of the parishioners of Notre-Dame-de-Grace Parish in Montreal.
Nabih Ayoub, his wife, Therese, and his brother, Khalil, have been living in the Catholic church basement since Jan. 30. They moved there after they received notice from Citizenship and Immigration Canada that their application for refugee status was rejected and they would be deported to Lebanon.
The three Melkite Catholics lived in a Palestinian refugee camp, called Ein el Hilweh, in southern Lebanon before coming to Canada.