Churches Refugee Network Advisory Group Bulletin

24 January 2022: Keep informed about developments and activities linked to immigration, asylum and refugee issues, in a British and Irish context, with this new bulletin from the Churches’ Refugee Network’s (CRN) Advisory Group.

This first edition looks at issues around asylum claims and Christian conversion; explores the lived experience of refugees seeking a better life in Refugee Stories; features the website of the other side of hope , a website for groups who support those seeking asylum; outlines how Catholic primary schools in Birmingham show their solidarity with refugees as Schools of Sanctuary; and details new guidance on language support for those seeking to settle in London and surrounding areas.

Extract – from Barbara Forbes, who is also the QARN representative at CRN:

A view from the pew: Barbara Forbes provides her views on the Government’s Borders and Nationality Bill:

In our Christian places of worship, it is now commonplace to refer to the many occasions in the Bible where we are enjoined to “welcome the stranger”. We are told to treat refugees and strangers with kindness and compassion, and to remember that we are all strangers here on earth. I find it hard to understand how those who call themselves Christians can support the Nationality and Borders Bill, which has at its heart the determination that people’s cases will be considered not on the basis of their need for protection, but on the basis of how they arrived in this country. Those who do not arrive on some kind of “official” route will be deemed to be irregular and their cases will be deemed inadmissible. Those who do make it through to some kind of temporary status will live in constant fear of expulsion from the country and will not be given the right of family reunification. And remember – there are hardly any official routes.

The churches need to speak out loud and clear: There is no such thing as an “illegal immigrant”. The human rights to which the UK has committed itself in international law apply to everybody. Properly informed and with the support of each other, church leaders and members of congregations will be able to provide a clear voice calling for a sea-change in this country’s attitude and approach to the human beings who come to our shores looking for sanctuary – often as a result of desperate situations caused by actions taken by western governments.


Churches' refugee Network Bulletin

CRN Advisory Group Bulletin – 1 (PDF)