Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-church-leaders-are-told-to-explain-their-checks-on-asylum-seekers-who-claim-to-be-christian-converts-following-the-clapham-chemical-attacker-scandalAlert – Church leaders are told to explain their checks on asylum seekers who claim to be Christian converts following the Clapham chemical attacker scandal

Church leaders have been asked to explain the checks they make when offering support to asylum seekers who claim to be Christian converts.

The Home Office has requested details amid concerns conversion is being abused in the wake of the scandal over Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi.

A working group has been set up between officials and representatives of a number of Christian denominations – but it is understood churches have been ‘reluctant’ to engage on the subject.

A source close to Home Secretary James Cleverly confirmed last night: ‘We have urged church leaders to share their mechanisms for how decisions to speak on behalf of an individual at a tribunal are taken and what criteria are applied to assess the validity of that conversion.’

The Home Office has requested details from church leaders amid concerns conversion is being abused in the wake of the scandal over Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi (pictured)

The Home Office has requested details from church leaders amid concerns conversion is being abused in the wake of the scandal over Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi (pictured)

Ezedi (pictured, being baptised at a church in Jarrow) had been unable to answer basic questions about Christianity during interviews with asylum caseworkers. But the Afghan was granted asylum on his third appeal after receiving support from the Baptist and Roman Catholic churches

Ezedi (pictured, being baptised at a church in Jarrow) had been unable to answer basic questions about Christianity during interviews with asylum caseworkers. But the Afghan was granted asylum on his third appeal after receiving support from the Baptist and Roman Catholic churches

Ezedi was given a Muslim funeral and burial (pictured) despite claiming to have converted to Christianity

Ezedi was given a Muslim funeral and burial (pictured) despite claiming to have converted to Christianity

A source close to Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) confirmed: 'We have urged church leaders to share their mechanisms for how decisions to speak on behalf of an individual at a tribunal are taken and what criteria are applied to assess the validity of that conversion'

A source close to Home Secretary James Cleverly (pictured) confirmed: ‘We have urged church leaders to share their mechanisms for how decisions to speak on behalf of an individual at a tribunal are taken and what criteria are applied to assess the validity of that conversion’

READ MORE: Moment Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi is given Muslim burial despite claiming to have converted to Christianity – as Home Office faces ‘serious questions’ on how convicted sex offender was allowed to remain in UK

The Mail can also disclose that the Home Office is gathering data on the number of asylum seekers who converted to Christianity in the wake of the Ezedi affair. Ministers have ordered officials to measure the scale of the trend for the first time after Ezedi won refugee status after claiming to have abandoned Islam.

Ezedi had been unable to answer basic questions about Christianity during interviews with asylum caseworkers. But the Afghan was granted asylum on his third appeal after receiving support from the Baptist and Roman Catholic churches.

A source said: ‘We have asked what sort of system they have in place for verifying someone’s claim to have converted. The churches have been quite reluctant.

‘They said “We are the experts on this, leave it to us”. We are not satisfied with that. The ball is in their court to offer reassurance to the public and to us over the criteria they apply.’