ICC Note: As hundreds of thousands of Christians are part of the wave of refugees fleeing Syria’s conflict, Church leaders have raised concerns that policies by the UK and other European countries will fail to provide them refuge. The screening process often misses those who fail to enter formal camps, something Christians are hesitant to due because of religious tensions.
09/15/2015 Middle East (Christian Post) Anglican leader Justin Welby, as well as Christian persecution watchdog groups, have warned that U.K. government policies on granting asylum are discriminating against Christians who are avoiding entering formal refugee camps populated by Sunni Muslims amid fears of attacks by Islamic radicals.
“As countries like the U.K. debate how to deal with the refugee crisis, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said that their policy will discriminate against Christians. The policy takes those who are in camps, but many Christians fearing discriminant, violence, and intimidation have not been willing to enter formal camps that are largely populated by Sunni Muslims,” International Christian Concern said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.
The statement reflects concerns raised by Welby, who according to The Telegraph, warned British Prime Minister David Cameron last week that the refugee policy is discriminating against Christians.
Welby told the House of Lords that “within the camps there is significant intimidation and radicalization, and many, particularly of the Christian population, who have been forced to flee are unable to be in the camps.”
Concerns are that Christians will not be among the 20,000 refugees coming over to the U.K. over the next five years, because they are refusing to join the formal camps.
Welby pressed: “What is the government’s policy of reaching out to those who are not actually in the camps?”
Welby’s predecessor, Lord Carey, also echoed those concerns, saying that Christians will again be left “at the bottom of the heap.”
“Mr. Cameron’s policy inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State,” Carey wrote.