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REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Asylum seekers Rwanda.JPG
REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
World News

'An affront to the Christian faith': Refugee worker hits out at gov's plans to process asylum seekers in Rwanda

by Kelly Valencia

A Christian refugee worker has joined charities across the UK in criticising the government's plans to process asylum seekers in Rwanda. 

Ben Bano, co-founder of Seeking Sanctuary, a Christian group that helps migrants in Calais, told Premier he believes the plans are "an offence to the Christian faith" as "we were created by Jesus, in His own likeness". 

"Jesus created us equally in his own image, and in his own likeness and here we go discriminating between what we might call white European refugees, who we rightly welcome and people who might be darker-skinned, who all we can think about is sending them to Rwanda," he continued. 

"The people who are crossing the Channel at the moment, are very similar to the people in Ukraine. They've lost everything. They've lost homes, family jobs, they are desperate."

On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed plans that "tens of thousands" of male asylum seekers crossing the English Channel will be sent to Rwanda while their claims are assessed. 

He argued the measure will deter people from crossing and will tackle "vile people smugglers". But for Bano, the plans won't stop people from making the dangerous journey. 

"The people who are crossing the Channel at the moment, are very similar to the people in Ukraine. They've lost everything. They've lost homes, family jobs, they are desperate.

"I don't think it will make a difference than the number of people who attempt the plotting, they'll still be there."

It is understood, more than 5,000 migrants have arrived in the UK this year so far after crossing the Channel.

For Bano, it's important that churches join forces to get "a powerful response". 

"There's no other way for it. This proposal is profoundly unquestioned. As I said, we were created by Jesus, in His own likeness, equally. And this proposal is an affront to our Christian faith. So we need to unite both locally and nationally, and make sure that message gets over as clearly as we can."

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