Thursday after Ash Wednesday, 2 March

LENT 2017

Thursday after Ash Wednesday, 2 March

Five years after arriving in the UK, James’ application for asylum was refused.

02 March 2017

Thursday after Ash Wednesday, 2 March

From today’s first reading:

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today; I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so you and your decedents may live.”

Deuteronomy 30:19

Over the weeks of Lent, we will introduce you to a number of the refugee friends JRS accompanies. We invite you to walk with them and hear their witness.

How will you choose to respond?

James’ Story – Part 2

Five years after arriving in the UK, James’ application for asylum was refused. James is now labelled a ‘failed asylum seeker’. The government ceased providing limited financial support and removed his right to work. Overnight James lost everything.

“We lost the house, the job and so I started living like nobody.  That was very humiliating and depressing.”

Read the next stage of James’ journey tomorrow.


Inform yourself

What image comes to your mind when you hear the term failed asylum seeker? For many it is of someone on the scrounge, someone untrustworthy.  The label is a curse.

But labels cover up a complicated truth.  The way the UK determines asylum cases is notoriously arbitrary.  Many investigations have criticised the culture of disbelief in the system, the lack of training of those making decisions, the use of discredited information and the difficulty in accessing legal advice.  Many of the people JRS accompanies will spend a period of time labelled as a failed asylum seeker, but with good legal advice may later come to have their asylum case resolved and be recognised as a refugee.

As you journey through Lent, inform yourself about the truth of the difficulties asylum seekers face in getting their cases heard.

Choose to spread the truth, so that other’s may live.

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[Back to Lent 2017]


Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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