Disturbing news from Britain, where the Home Office tried to claim that Christianity is not a peaceful religion in an attempt to reject a recent Iranian asylum seeker.
The Iranian national, who has not been identified, claimed asylum in 2016 but his application was rejected after government officials said his conversion from Islam was “inconsistent” with his claim that Christianity is a peaceful religion.
In order to reiterate the point, the Home Office wrote a lengthy and “unbelievably offensive” refusal letter referencing six Bible passages and claiming that the book of Revelation is filled with “images of revenge, destruction, death and violence”.
The Home Office rejection, below the quoted verses concludes: “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.”
Absurd, and sad. Hopefully this is just an aberrant staffer and not official policy. If it turns out that multiple officials signed off on such thinking, it will be cause for even more alarm. Thankfully, the Home Office has admitted this action is “inconsistent” with its policy. Light words. Such cherry-picking of verses is likely beyond even embarrassing exegetical malpractice, and perhaps reveals malicious intent. Regardless, it shows the need for immigration officials to be trained in basic theology and Bible knowledge!
The man’s lawyer was not happy:
Nathan Stevens, the immigration caseworker at Fadiga & Co Solicitors dealing with the Iranian man’s case, posted excerpts of the Home Office letter on Twitter earlier this week saying he was “genuinely shocked” to read such an “unbelievably offensive diatribe”. It has since been shared hundreds of times.
Mr Stevens, from London, 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.”
He said that his client will be appealing the decision and he will be complaining to the Home Office.
Hopefully, the Home Office will right this ship. If not, it will only feed the idea, not without merit, that Western Europe is no longer able to actually defend the human rights and freedom it has long claimed to protect.