The publication of a Home Office ‘reason for refusal letter‘, which quoted an extract from Revelations, of an Iranian gentlemen whose application for asylum was based on his conversion to Christianity is deeply shocking, but sadly for those working alongside refugees and people seeking asylum, is not surprising.
The refusal letter was initially shared on Twitter by the individual’s caseworker.
Excerpt from a home office reasons for refusal letter for a convert to Christianity. I’ve seen a lot over the years, but even I was genuinely shocked to read this unbelievably offensive diatribe being used to justify a refusal of asylum. pic.twitter.com/R1wA1HMNwH
— Nathan Stevens (@nathestevens) March 19, 2019
Responding to this, Sarah Teather, Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK said: “This is a particularly outrageous example of the reckless and facetious approach of the Home Office to determining life and death asylum cases – they appear willing to distort any aspect of reality in order to turn down a claim.
“This case demonstrates the shocking illiteracy of Christianity within the Home Office. But the distortion of logic and reckless approach to asylum seeker’s lives is a common feature. Here at JRS, we routinely encounter cases where asylum has been refused on spurious grounds. Some of these cases require more legal knowledge to recognise than this bizarre misquoting of the bible.
“As this instance gains public attention, we need to remember it reflects a systematic problem and a deeper mindset of disbelief within the Home Office, and is not just an anomaly that can be explained away.”