The Independent newspaper is reporting the case of an Iranian who has been denied asylum in the UK because his conversion to Christianity and claim of its peaceful character is at odds with violent imagery in the Bible.
The UK Home Office is reported to have refused asylum to a Christian convert by quoting Bible passages which it says prove Christianity is not a peaceful religion.
The Independent newspaper is reporting the story of an Iranian national who claimed asylum in 2016 and converted to Christianity because he thought it was a "peaceful" faith.
However, the Home Office demurred, sending him a refusal letter referencing the Bible. The letter said the book of Revelations – the final book of the Bible – is “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence,” and cites six excerpts from it.
It then states: “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.”
The Independent contacted the Home Office, which said the letter was “not in accordance” with its policy approach to claims based on religious persecution. It also said it was working to improve the training provided to decision-makers on religious conversion.
Nathan Stevens, the asylum seeker’s caseworker, tweeted: “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."
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