Church of England accused of serving to asylum seekers keep away from deportation by ‘changing’ to Christianity

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A “conveyor belt of faux conversions” helps “bogus” asylum seekers declare the best to remain within the UK at an “industrial scale”, facilitated by the Church of England, Britain’s former Residence Secretary has claimed.

However church leaders have rejected the “irresponsible and inaccurate” allegations, whereas additionally insisting they make “no apology” for “supporting people who find themselves typically deeply weak and traumatised”.

The church’s position within the asylum course of has come beneath hearth over the previous week after it emerged that Abdul Ezedi, who attacked a girl and her two younger youngsters with a caustic substance in London’s Clapham earlier this month, had been granted asylum in 2021 regardless of being a convicted intercourse offender, partly as a result of a priest vouched for his conversion to Christianity.

Ezedi, 35, who was final seen in safety digicam footage with extreme injury to the best facet of his face after the horrific incident, sparked a week-long manhunt earlier than police on Friday introduced they believed he had probably drowned after throwing himself into the River Thames.

Initially from Afghanistan, Ezedi illegally entered Britain on the again of a truck in 2016 and in 2018 was discovered responsible of a intercourse offence. He was then twice refused asylum earlier than lastly being granted the best to remain, after a priest argued he was “wholly dedicated” to his new faith.

The revelation sparked fury from British MPs and calls for for solutions from the Residence Workplace as to why Ezedi had not been deported earlier.

Former Residence Secretary Suella Braverman, who was sacked by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in November, wrote in The Telegraph final week she had witnessed the “racketeering” of the asylum system in myriad methods together with “adults claiming to be youngsters, Muslims pretending to be Christians, heterosexuals feigning homosexuality”.

“Take the church for example. Whereas on the Residence Workplace, I turned conscious of church buildings across the nation facilitating industrial-scale bogus asylum claims,” she mentioned.

“They’re well-known throughout the migrant communities and, upon arrival within the UK, migrants are directed to those church buildings as a one-stop store to bolster their asylum case. Attend Mass as soon as per week for just a few months, befriend the vicar, get your baptism date within the diary and, bingo, you’ll be signed off by a member of the clergy that you just’re now a God-fearing Christian who will face sure persecution if eliminated to your Islamic nation of origin.”

Ms Braverman mentioned Britain “should get smart to the issue”.

“It’s no marvel that the previous dean of Liverpool Cathedral famous that he transformed about 200 asylum seekers to Christianity over a four-year interval — however he doesn’t recall baptising any Muslim who was already a British citizen,” she mentioned.

In response to Ms Braverman’s opinion piece, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, the Bishop of Chelmsford and an Iranian refugee, wrote this week that “as a Christian chief I make no apology for our involvement in supporting people who find themselves typically deeply weak and traumatised”.

“However church buildings don’t have any energy to avoid the federal government’s responsibility to vet and approve functions — the accountability for this rests with the Residence Workplace,” she wrote in The Telegraph.

“[Clergy] will often, after cautious evaluation, present statements of assist to people looking for asylum, however it’s unsuitable to think about this as some type of magic ticket. The notion that an individual could also be fast-tracked by means of the asylum system, aided and abetted by the church, is just inaccurate.”

On Sunday, the UK’s The Every day Mail reported that greater than 300 migrants had lodged appeals with an immigration tribunal on the premise of getting transformed to Christianity.

Amongst these have been a 45-year-old Iranian pedophile, who has fought a 14-year asylum battle and has been described as a “hazard to the group”.

 The Mail on Sunday reviews the intercourse offender was baptised simply 11 days earlier than he lodged his newest authorized attraction to remain in Britain, and claims he can’t be deported as a result of he’s tattooed with a cross.

Following reviews that 40 males on the Bibby Stockholm barge, a “floating jail” housing asylum seekers off the southwest English coast, have been being baptised, present Residence Secretary James Cleverly ordered an investigation of how the asylum system offers with migrants who’ve transformed to Christianity.

Sussex MP Tim Loughton requested Mr Sunak in regards to the problem throughout Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament on Wednesday, noting that “the Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted that since taking workplace, the attendance on the Church of England has dropped by 15 per cent and within the 10 years to Covid, the variety of baptisms within the Church of England has fallen from 140,000-a-year to 87,000”.

“So Christianity within the UK appears to be on the wane until apparently, you might be from a Muslim nation in the midst of an asylum declare. We’re now advised one in seven occupants of the Bibby Stockholm have out of the blue change into practising Christians,” Mr Loughton mentioned.

“Can I ask the Prime Minister that provided that the Church of England has now issued secret steerage for clergy supporting asylum functions for these Damascene conversions, who’s the church accountable to and are taxpayers being scammed by the Archbishop?”

Mr Sunak replied that Mr Cleverly had requested extra data on asylum seekers changing to Christianity.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, mentioned in an announcement on Wednesday in response to the Prime Minister’s Questions that it had “been disappointing to see the mischaracterisation of the position of church buildings and religion teams within the asylum system”.

“Church buildings up and down the nation are concerned in caring for weak folks from all backgrounds. For refugees and people looking for asylum, we merely observe the instructing of the Bible which is to look after the stranger,” he mentioned.

“It’s the job of the federal government to guard our borders and of the courts to guage asylum instances. The church known as to like mercy and do justice. I encourage everybody to keep away from irresponsible and inaccurate feedback — and allow us to not neglect that on the coronary heart of this dialog are weak folks whose lives are valuable within the sight of God.”

Ross Clark, columnist with The Solar, wrote final week that the church was permitting itself to be “hoodwinked” by bogus asylum seekers.

“The case of Ezedi is not any one-off,” Clark mentioned.

“Emad al Swealmeen, who blew himself up outdoors a Liverpool hospital on Remembrance Sunday in 2021 — fortuitously killing solely himself — had tried the identical wheeze, becoming a member of a course at Liverpool Cathedral and ultimately getting himself confirmed, all of the whereas persevering with to attend a mosque.”

He mentioned the raft of conversions advised both the Church of England “has one way or the other managed to develop a pull which isn’t in any other case instantly apparent when surveying its largely empty pews”, or Ms Braverman was right.

“Church leaders might imagine they’re being ethical after they condemn authorities coverage on unlawful migration and after they converse up for asylum candidates who’ve come to their church buildings feigning a want to transform to Christianity,” Clark mentioned.

“However there’s nothing moral in sheltering those who just a few inquiries about would point out are attempting to cheat the asylum system — and who in some instances are criminals and terrorists exploiting our asylum system.”