by J.D. Davidson


Two Ohio lawmakers want the federal government to place Canada on a watchlist for violations of religious freedoms throughout the country.

State Reps. Reggie Stoltzfus, R-Paris Township, and Tim Ginter, R-Columbiana County, said the Canadian government has not allowed citizens to hold religious services and jailed pastors for disobeying the government.

Stoltzfus and Ginter plan to introduce a resolution in the Ohio House that would urge the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to place Canada on the watch list for violations of religious freedoms.

“We have seen examples of the Canadian Government violating their citizens’ rights of religious worship by not allowing them to hold services, jailing pastors that disobey and given religious leaders scripts to place into their sermons,” Stoltzfus said. “Ohio has stood up for religious freedom and protected the right to attend religious services, it is clear that Canada has not done the same.”

The purpose, he said, would be showing show Canadians the state supports religious freedom in the country.

Ginter said Canada is an Ohio neighbor and primary trading partner with the U.S., creating a strong interest in the Canadian affairs.

“Government does not grant the right to gather to worship God, that is a fundamental human freedom,” Ginter said. “The role of government is to protect that right and when a government, any government, oversteps that role it has violated a basic liberty that transcends national borders. That is why I have come alongside Rep. Stoltzfus as a sponsor of this resolution. It is time for the freedom loving people of Ohio and America to stand with our neighbors.”

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J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist at The Center Square with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.
Photo “Reggie Stoltzfus” by Reggie for Ohio. Photo “Tim Ginter” by Ohio House. Background Photo “Parliament Hill, Canada” by Saffron Blaze. CC BY-SA 3.0.