Last Updated on August 24, 2011 by Steven Meurrens

On August 15, 2011, Justice Shore released his decision in Oraminejad v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 997.  The decision did not involve a particularly complicated set of facts, nor did it expand upon existing areas of law.

However, the decision contains the following paragraph that I found to be quite compelling, and which reads as follows:

It is important to note that certain questions, asked of the Applicant, apply to the practice, rites and symbols (example: the crossing of a person) of Catholics but not of Protestants (except high Anglicans), again, depending on the actual denomination of Protestantism; such specialized knowledge may not be common knowledge; thus, it must often be sought in specialized documentation requested and not decided on that which a first-instance decision-maker thinks he knows on his own or on a whim! It could be a very costly whim in regard to the life and limb of an applicant who could be returned to his country of origin to a situation of peril. It is significant that throughout history and even modern history: e.g. Christians of various denominations, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus and Bahais have been killed for their beliefs without necessarily even having had deep knowledge, or even any knowledge, of their religions, other than adherence to their faith. Many died for their faiths but, according to the annals of history, did not live according to their faiths; yet, that did not stop their slaughter. Therefore, it is important to view the evidence in this case such as provided by the specific church in question and additional evidence therefrom that was provided.