Christian Asylum Seekers Struggle in Sri Lanka

06/16/2019 Sri Lanka (International Christian Concern) – The Sri Lankan government is under an increase of international pressure because of policies which lead to the forced deportation of religious minority asylum seekers.

Many of these seekers are of Pakistani origin and are Christian. Their deportation back to Pakistan puts them at risk of serious human rights violations, a move which stands in violation of international law. Deportation of foreigners became more commonplace following Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday attacks, which was claimed by ISIS and caused great local fear of foreigners. It is estimated that over 1,200 refugees and asylum seekers have been displaced in Sri Lanka following the Easter attacks.

Sri Lanka has been the home of several religious minority groups from Pakistan for several years. Pakistan, listed as the 5th country on Open Doors list of locations with the highest persecution, is a highly toxic space for Christians. They are constantly accused of blasphemy, which is punishable by death. Sending them and other foreign religious minority asylum seekers back to their homes puts them at significant risk of further persecution.

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