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Christian asylum seekers "not being asked to recite Ten Commandments"

by Aaron James

It has been claimed believers seeking refuge from victimisation have been turned away because they cannot name the 12 disciples, recall how many books are in the New Testament, recite the Ten Commandments or explain the meaning of certain holy days like Ash Wednesday.

One woman's asylum claim was rejected as she could not recite the Lord's Prayer and state how many books are in the New Testament, a report from the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) for international freedom of religion or belief said.

Robert Goodwill (below) has asked Home Office officials to investigate the process used to select Christian asylum seekers.

Robert Goodwill MP

Attempting to dismiss certain claims he told a Westminster Hall debate: "Where the credibility of a conversion to a particular faith needs to be established, an interview is far more an exploration of a claimant's personal experiences and journey to their new faith in their country and the UK than it is a test of religious facts, such as, 'Name the ten commandments'.

"Those are not the sorts of questions we are asking.

"I am very clear about the fact that we understand that conversion is often a journey or process - not a Damascene moment, when someone sees the light.

"The interview questions and conversations seek to find out about that.

"It is not, as I said, just simple questions such as, 'Name the 12 apostles', or 'List the Ten Commandments'. That is not the process we undertake.

"I am grateful to the all-party group for its considered report on such an important topic and I have asked my officials to investigate the cases raised in it and to continue engaging constructively with members of the group."

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