The West Continues To Turn It's Back On Persecuted Christians
By Raymond Ibrahim/Gatestone InstituteOctober 24, 2022
Share this article:
Western authorities appear committed to discriminating against Christian asylum seekers, while welcoming Muslims ones.
Most recently, Germany -- which has taken in millions of refugees from the Muslim world, including many, non-vetted, from Afghanistan -- denied refuge to an Iranian convert to Christianity, known by the initials "H.H.," whose brother-in-law had been imprisoned, tortured and killed after converting in their native Iran. According to a report from August 2:
"When H.H.'s asylum application was rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, he appealed to the Administrative Court of Greifswald. But the court dismissed H.H.'s claim, declaring that it was "not particularly likely" that a Muslim would decide to become a Christian after his brother-in-law had been tortured and killed and his wife abused. It is more likely 'to assume that the events described, if they actually took place, have a deterrent effect on third parties,' according to the administrative court...
"Recently, the European Court of Human Rights refused to hear Hassan. Now he faces deportation to a country where conversions can be punished with imprisonment."
Discussing H.H.'s case, a legal officer at ADF International (Alliance Defending Freedom), Lidia Rieder, said:
"Iran is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians, and converts are particularly at risk. In the last year, religious persecution has greatly worsened. So-called 'religious deviants' can be given prison sentences, national security charges are continuously used to target religious minorities. The courts in Germany must take this into account when processing asylum applications."
Germany and the European Court of Human Rights are hardly the only ones to deny refuge to, or discriminate against, persecuted Christians. Over the years, many other Western entities have engaged in similar behavior.
Under the presidency of Barack Obama, particularly during the refugee crisis precipitated by the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), the White House and State Department were accused of all sorts of discriminatory measures against Christians -- to the point that a federal appellate court filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security in late 2016. In it, Judge Daniel Manion expressed his "concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country":
"Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian.... To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy."
The discrepancy in numbers was even more perplexing: Although the U.S. government had acknowledged that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians in Syria due solely to their religious identity, it took in only those who by definition were not in any way being targeted by ISIS -- Sunni Muslims, with whom ISIS, a Sunni organization, identifies and does not attack. Despite the fact that Sunnis were about 75% of Syria's population, and Christians about 10%, a full 99 % of those brought into America were Sunni Muslims, and less than 0.5 percent were Christian.
As CNS news noted in 2016: "Record 499 Syrian Refugees Admitted to US So Far in May Includes No Christians." In other words, even if one were to operate under the assumption that refugee status should have been made available to all Syrians, regardless of religion, there should have been 20 times more Christians and about one-quarter fewer Sunnis granted refugee status under Obama.
A virtually identical situation prevailed in the United Kingdom. In 2019, The Times stated that the UK "fails to give safe haven to Christians," and "appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims" instead of Christians.
Once again, statistics confirm that allegation: "out of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian, representing just 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK."
At the time, Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a Life Peer in the House of Lords, wrote to Sajid Javid, the Muslim man who then headed the UK Home Office:
"It is widely accepted that Christians, who constituted around 10 per cent of Syria's pre-war population, were specifically targeted by jihadi rebels and continue to be at risk.... As last year's statistics more than amply demonstrate, this ratio imbalance between Muslim and Christian refugees taken in is not a statistical blip. It shows a pattern of discrimination that the Government has a legal duty to take concrete steps to address."
As in the U.S., the discrimination became so flagrant that Lord George Carey sued the Home Office for being "institutionally biased" against Christian refugees and therefore complicit in what he called "the steady crucifixion of Middle East Christians."
The discrimination facing persecuted Christian minorities begins well before they reach Western nations. As CBN News reported in 2019:
"Christian Syrian refugees... have been blocked from getting help from the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, by Muslim UN officials in Jordan. One of the refugees, Hasan, a Syrian convert to Christianity, told us in a phone call that Muslim UN camp officials 'knew that we were Muslims and became Christians and they dealt with us with persecution and mockery. They didn't let us into the office. They ignored our request.' Hasan and his family are now in hiding, afraid that they will be arrested by Jordanian police, or even killed. Converting to Christianity is a serious crime in Jordan."
According to Timothy, a Jordanian Muslim who converted to Christianity, "All of the United Nations officials [apparently in Jordan], most of them, 99 percent, they are Muslims, and they were treating us as enemies."
Paul Diamond, a British human rights lawyer, elaborated:
"You have this absurd situation where the scheme is set up to help Syrian refugees and the people most in need, Christians who have been 'genocided,' they can't even get into the U.N. camps to get the food. If you enter and say I am a Christian or convert, the Muslim U.N. guards will block you [from] getting in and laugh at you and mock you and even threaten you.... saying 'You shouldn't have converted. You're an idiot for converting. You get what you get,' words to that effect."
This same mockery often greets those Christians who do reach Western nations. The UK Home Office alone offers multiple examples. In one instance, it ridiculed an Iranian female asylum seeker in her rejection letter by writing, "You affirmed in your AIR [Asylum Interview Record] that Jesus is your saviour, but then claimed that he would not be able to save you from the Iranian regime. It is therefore considered that you have no conviction in your faith and your belief in Jesus is half-hearted."
She later said that whenever she responded to her Home Office interviewer, "he was either chuckling or maybe just kind of mocking when he was talking to me.... He asked me why Jesus didn't help you from the Iranian regime or Iranian authorities."
"In my country," she added, "if someone converts to Christianity their punishment is death or execution."
Similarly, in his rejection letter from the Home Office, another Muslim convert to Christianity was told that several biblical passages were "inconsistent" with his claim to have converted to Christianity because he had discovered it was a "peaceful" faith. The letter went so far as to cite biblical passages--including from Exodus, Leviticus, Matthew, and Revelation--to argue that the Bible is violent, before concluding:
"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 UK's Home Office not only denied entry to three Christian leaders -- archbishops celebrated for their heroic efforts at aiding persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq who had been invited to attend the consecration of the UK's first Syriac Cathedral, an event attended by then-Prince Charles -- but also mockingly told them there was "no room at the inn."
Even in the most recent case of H.H. -- the Iranian denied asylum in Germany-- a hint of ridicule was evident in the authorities' conclusion: he must have been lying, they reasoned, since apparently no sane person would convert to Christianity or remain Christian after seeing a relative murdered for converting.
Meanwhile, as the few Christians who seek asylum are highly scrutinized and presented with obstacles, millions of Muslim asylum seekers are taken into the West without any difficulties, and most without even being vetted (here and here).
This same Germany that denied H.H. entry and sent him back to Iran to possible torture and death, in 2015 took in over a million Muslim migrants and, in 2021, after H.H. had applied, ten thousand non-vetted Afghans -- even though Afghanistan is arguably the most hostile nation to Christians.
Again, these are all people who, by definition, could not have experienced religious persecution back home as they themselves are Muslim -- not to mention that many of them share the Taliban's penchant for violence and extremism.
Currently, under the Biden administration -- which has further been accused of deliberately preventing Christian minorities from escaping Afghanistan -- over 74,000 non-vetted Afghans were granted asylum into America in 2022, and many of these seem also to have brought with them the behavior they were reportedly escaping.
As for the UK's Home Office, Ahmed Hassan, despite having no papers on him -- and despite telling the Home Office that "he had been trained as an ISIS soldier" -- was still granted asylum two years before he launched a terrorist attack on a London train station that left 30 injured in September 2017. The Home Office also allowed a foreign Muslim cleric to enter and lecture in London, even though he advocated decapitating, burning and throwing homosexuals off cliffs. According to another report:
"British teenagers are being forced to marry abroad and are raped and impregnated while the Home Office 'turns a blind eye' by handing visas to their [mostly Muslim] husbands."
The case of Asia Bibi--a Christian wife and mother of five who spent a decade of her life on death row in Pakistan for challenging the authority of Muhammad -- perhaps best sheds light on the immigration situation in the UK. Although she was finally acquitted in November 2018, once Pakistanis in Britain learned that the UK was going to offer asylum to Bibi, they rioted en masse.
As a result, then-Prime Minister Theresa May personally blocked Bibi's asylum application, "despite UK playing host to [Muslim] hijackers, extremists and rapists," to quote from one headline. In other words, the UK was openly allowing "asylum policy to be dictated to by a Pakistan mob," reported the Guardian, "after it was confirmed it urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK..."
Meanwhile, as usual, the Home Office allowed a Pakistani cleric who celebrated the slaughter of a politician because he had defended Bibi -- a cleric deemed so extreme as to be banned from his native Pakistan -- to enter and lecture in British mosques.
Discussing how "visas were granted by the Home Office in July to two Pakistani Islamic leaders who have called for the killing of Christians accused of blasphemy," a human rights activist, Dr. Martin Parsons, expressed his frustration:
"It's unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn, when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians."
When it comes to who is being granted asylum in the West, persecuted Christians need not apply, while extremist Muslims are welcomed with open arms.