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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Archbishop of Canterbury Intervenes to Prevent Deportation of Iraqi Christian Refugee

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Jan 23
  • Comments

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the U.K.’s Home Office on behalf of a refugee from Syrian who is seeking asylum in Britain.

Archbishop Justin Welby, along with his interfaith advisor, Mark Poulson, have taken up the refugee’s case and argued with the government that the man is an asset to U.K. society.

Welby described the man as "someone who wishes to contribute to society... He is someone who would be a great asset to the United Kingdom. I strongly endorse [his] desire to seek asylum in the UK."

The man is a member of the Syriac Orthodox Church. He initially fled his home in Mosul when the Islamic State overran the city in 2014. He and his family lived in a church basement until he came to the U.K. on a student visa a year later. However, when he applied for asylum, he was denied. His appeals were also denied.

The judge in the case ruled that the man could go back home and live in safety. However, those who support the man’s appeal believe that it is not yet safe for him to return home and that his family is still living in the church basement.

“I feel safe in Britain. I can't go back to Kurdistan, it's a different government, it's not our country. They don't deal with us like people from the same place. It's a different language,” the man told The Guardian.


Publication date: January 23, 2017