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Asylum seekers facing persecution for their faith must be dealt with more sensitively

The Home Secretary orders urgent investigation after Home Office letter quoted the bible to “prove” that Christianity was not a peaceful religion

I’ve seen some fairly bizarre takes from members of parliament and civil servants on the bible over the years, although none of them were quite as spectacular as a recent denial of asylum to an Iranian Christian on grounds that he had not, in the view of the author, joined a peaceful religion.

The letter of denial, which went viral on social media, essentially sought to explain to an Iranian convert that Christianity was not the peaceful religion that he or she thought it was, and attempted to prove the point by quoting chapter and verse of various bible passages. It included a cryptic patchwork of verses with references to swords, the smashing of sacred stones, and the stings of scorpions.

The bible certainly contains a number of passages which are violent. One that has always slightly bemused me is in 2 Kings 22, where Elisha summoned a bear to take out 42 youths who said: “Get out of here, baldy!” A former pastor of mine would sternly cite this if anyone commented on his lack of hair, although I believe this was in jest.

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.