Middle East and North Africa

UK refuses to accept any Syrian Christian refugees in latest statistics

Syrian Christian refugees

The UK government is failing Syrian Christian refugees according to persecuted church aid agency, Barnabas Fund.

Barnabas Fund researchers found that the Home Office had failed to resettle any Syrian Christians in the first quarter of this year.

The newly obtained statistics revealed that the UNHCR (UN High Commission on Refugees) recommended 1,358 Syrian refugees for resettlement in the UK of which only 4 were Christians.
The Home Office agreed to resettle 1,112 of these (82 per cent) all of which were Muslims and refused all recommendations of Christians.
According to Barnabas Fund these numbers are even worse than they have been in previous years. Of 7,060 Syrian refugees the UNHCR recommended to the UK in 2017 only 25 were Christians. However, the Home Office only accepted 11 of these.
The charity reported that it has had to go to considerable lengths to obtain these figures in the face of a sustained attempt by Home Office officials to avoid their release.
“After prolonged delays, we finally had to take the extreme step of obtaining an order from the Information Commissioner’s Office threatening the Home Office with contempt of court proceedings in the high court. Even subsequent to this action, the figures were only released at the eleventh hour when we insisted that the immigration minister to personally order their disclosure,” according to Barnabas Fund.
The charity said that with Home Office officials now complying with Freedom of INformation Requests as they are legally required, it is time for the government to take action.
“The UK has a legal obligation to ensure it does not turn a blind eye to either direct or indirect discrimination by the UN.”
Christians made up 10 per cent of Syria’s pre-war population and have been specifically targeted by Jihadists and continue to be at risk, according to the agency.
This is not a statistical blip, “it shows a pattern of underrepresentation and significant prima facie evidence of discrimination that the government has a legal duty to take concrete steps to address.”