Barnabas Aid finally obtained figures proving that the UN has only recommended tiny token numbers of Syrian Christians, Yazidis and other minorities for resettlement in the UK. The overwhelming majority of refugees recommended by the UN have been Sunni Muslims
This gross neglect of peaceful Christians and other minorities has been long discussed, but without any steps being taken to remedy the injustice. Instead, the UK and other Western nations have turned their backs on the most needy groups, who are not only victims of war, but have been persecuted at the hands of jihadists.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, declared that “politically correct officials were institutionally biased against Christian refugees” in the UK; in the U.S., of the 10,801 Syrian refugees who came to the US under Obama in 2016, only 56 were Christian.
Trump once promised that the US would prioritize Christian refugees, but to date, there has been no follow-up.
Most disturbing about the UK was that “ UK officials tried to prevent the release of this information” about its discrimination against Christian refugees, but “Barnabas Aid submitted a freedom of Information request to the UK Home Office” and discovered the ugly truth.
Christians have been abandoned, not only by Western governments but also by the largest Christian organizations globally, which have remained strangely silent. Even the Pope promised to take in Christian refugees in Italy, but then took only Muslims instead; he even called Muslim migrants “warriors of hope”.
Vice President Pence recently offered some hope in a speech when he announced that President Trump had ordered the State Department to stop funding UN relief efforts and “support directly persecuted communities through USAID.” Results are now awaited.
“UK government discriminates against Christian refugees from Syria”, Barnabas Aid, November 2, 2017:
THE UK government and the UN are discriminating against Christians and other minorities in their refugee programmes according to new Home Office statistics, seen by Barnabas Aid an aid agency which works for persecuted Christians.
Last week Barnabas Aid finally obtained figures proving that the UN has only recommended tiny token numbers of Syrian Christians, Yazidis and other minorities for resettlement in the UK. The overwhelming majority of refugees recommended by the UN have been Sunni Muslims who form the majority in Syria. But Christians, and other minorities have been repeatedly targeted for attack by Islamist groups such as IS.
The new statistics, obtained in a Freedom of Information Request to the Home Office by Barnabas Aid, of the religious background of Syrian asylum seekers recommended by the UNHCR for resettlement in the UK revealed:
o In 2015 out of 2,637 refugees there were only 43 Christians, just 13 Yazidis and only one Shia Muslim. In 2016 the statistics were even worse. Out of 7,499 refugees there were only 27 Christians, five Yazidis and 13, Shia Muslims.
o It is widely accepted that Christians made up 10 per cent of Syria’s pre-war population and Shia’s around 1.5 per cent while there are estimated to have been 70,000 Yazidis in Syria.
Disturbingly, UK officials tried to prevent the release of this information. Barnabas Aid submitted a freedom of Information request to the UK Home Office in February. And in spite of being legally required to release it within 28 days, officials failed to do so and repeatedly stalled or simply did not answer correspondence.
Eventually, Barnabas Aid lodged a formal complaint with the Information Commissioner’s office. On 19 September the Information Commissioner issued a formal notice requiring the Home Office to release this information within 35 calendar days or face contempt of court proceedings.
Even then, the information was only released at the very last minute after Barnabas Aid had contacted the immigration minister’s office, alerting him to the situation and asking him personally to ensure civil servants complied with the order.
“This is shocking behaviour by both UN and UK officials. In 2005 the UN formally adopted the responsibility of states to protect citizens from genocide and crimes against humanity. These statistics show that the UN has itself failed miserably and inexcusably in this respect,” said Martin Parsons, Head of Research at Barnabas Aid.
“Christians and other minorities in the Middle East have been treated shamefully by the UN. And the UK government has abjectly outsourced its own responsibilities to the victims of genocide in spite of repeated representations,” he added.
Barnabas Aid obtained these figures just as US Vice President Mike Pence announced that the US government would now directly help persecuted Christians ……