Christian Persecution

21 bishops now demand aid and asylum for Iraqi Christians

It is, sadly, now too late to save Mosul. But there is a further letter in today’s Times demanding Government action to aid or offer asylum to the persecuted, suffering and displaced Christians of Iraq, who are being slaughtered for nothing but their faith in Jesus and the fidelity to the Word of God:

Christian ‘exodus’

Sir, We urge the government to promote a co-ordinated approach towards the estimated 100,000 displaced Christians around northern Iraq/Kurdistan, many of whom have nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Their fate is now in the hands of outsiders after a forced exodus from areas they have inhabited since New Testament times. Western non-government organisations and churches are providing immediate aid, and the response by UNHCR, the Department for International Development and the British public has been substantial; however this level of aid cannot be sustained, and a longer-term solution is required.

Many of the displaced Christians and Yazidis have no confidence that a political or military solution will lead to their being able to survive back in their home territory. Many Christians are looking to find asylum in other countries. Australia, Canada, Sweden, Germany, France and others have proved remarkably generous but not, so far, the UK, despite it being a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and a member of the UN Council of Human Rights.

The letter is signed by 13 bishops, who, when added to those who have already called for Government action (still, shockingly, without any substantive response from either No10 or the FCO), brings us to 21. They now include:

Justin Welby, Canterbury
John Sentamu, York
Nick Baines, Leeds
David Walker, Manchester
John Inge, Worcester
Mark Rylands, Shrewsbury
Jonathan Gledhill, Lichfield
Geoff Annas, Stafford
Clive Gregory, Wolverhampton
Jonathan Clark, Croydon
Pete Broadbent, Willesden
Graham Usher, Dudley
Steven Croft, Sheffield
John Pritchard, Oxford
Donald Allister, Peterborough
Andrew Watson, Aston
Robert Innes, Gibraltar
Robert Patterson, Sodor and the Isle of Man
Andrew Proud, Reading
James Langstaff, Rochester
Colin Fletcher, Dorchester

Ordinaries and others include:

John Hall, Dean of Westminster

Still not quite equal to the number of bishops who complained about the existence of food-banks, but we’re getting there..