Christianity Is Not a Religion Of Peace - UK HomeOffice Uses Bible Quotes To Reject Visa Application

at 07:39 AM, 21/03/2019 (1 month ago)

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The Home Office turned down a Christian convert's bid for asylum in an 'unbelievably offensive' letter quoting bloodthirsty passages from the bible to prove Christianity is not a religion of peace.

The Iranian national claimed asylum in 2016, but was turned down, with Home Office officials saying his conversion from Islam was 'inconsistent' with his claim Christianity was a peaceful religion - by highlighting violent passages from the bible.

In the refusal letter six passages are listed and a claim is made that Revelations is filled with 'images of revenge, destruction, death and violence.'

Immigration caseworker Nathan Stevens posted excerpts from the letter on Twitter and said he was 'genuinely shocked' to read such an 'unbelievably offensive diatribe.'

He added: 'Whatever your views on faith, how can a government official arbitrarily pick bits out of a holy book and then use them to trash someone's heartfelt reason for coming to a personal decision to follow another faith.'

Officials appear to have used six examples taken from the Bible Gateway - a searchable online bible, and one of the world's most well-utilised Christian websites.

The refusal letter also quotes parts of The Book of Leviticus from the old testament.

The full statement below the verses says: 'These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a 'peaceful religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge.'

Mr Stevens added on Twitter that his client will be appealing the decision and he will be complaining to the Home Office.

Social media users were so shocked by the content of the letter a number of them did not even believe it was real - with the decision being described as 'gobsmacking' and 'unreal.'

Legal expert Conor James McKinney, deputy editor of website Free Movement, told Mail Online: 'Immigration lawyers often speak of a 'culture of disbelief' among the officials that make these life-or-death asylum decisions.

'This case seems to be an extreme example of an individual official manufacturing a reason to refuse an asylum claim, and the Home Office acknowledges that it was out of line, but those working with asylum seekers do report horror stories almost as bad on a regular basis.'

Stephen Evans, chief executive of the National Secular Society told the Independent it was 'wholly inappropriate' for the Home Office to use 'theological justifications for refusing asylum applications'.

He added: 'Decisions on the merits of an asylum appeal should be based on an assessment of the facts at hand – and not on the state's interpretation of any given religion. It's not the role of the Home Office to play theologian.'

A Home Office spokesman said: 'This letter is not in accordance with our policy approach to claims based on religious persecution, including conversions to a particular faith.

'We continue to work closely with key partners, including the APPG on International Freedom of Religion and a range of faith groups, to improve our policy guidance and training provided to asylum decision-makers so that we approach claims involving religious conversion in the appropriate way.'

UK HomeOffice

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