Canadian Sect Leaders Face New Polygamy Charges

Canadian Sect Leaders Face New Polygamy Charges

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – A Canadian prosecutor has approved criminal charges against four members of an isolated polygamous community in British Columbia nearly three years after the province’s Supreme Court upheld a ban on plural marriages.

British Columbia’s Ministry of Justice said on Wednesday that Winston Kaye Blackmore and James Marion Oler, rival leaders in the small religious community of Bountiful, some 735 kms (450 miles) east of Vancouver, both face charges of polygamy.

Oler also faces a separate charge related to the alleged unlawful removal of a child from Canada. Two other community members face similar charges.

The charges are just the latest in a decades-long effort by the province and Canadian police to prosecute members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) on polygamy-related charges.

The FLDS, a breakaway sect of the mainstream Mormon Church, also has communities in the United States, where its leader and self-proclaimed prophet, Warren Jeffs, has been convicted of forcing underage women to marry older men.

Read more at Reuters