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‘We are seeing real conversions,’ says church chief

‘We are seeing real conversions,’ says church chief


(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Contrary to ideas within the media, the chief of a UK evangelical church community has mentioned there has not been any “important inflow” of asylum seekers turning to the Christian religion. 

The query of conversion claims by asylum seekers has come to the fore after final week’s acid assault in Clapham. The suspect, Abdul Ezedi, was granted asylum after claiming to have transformed to Christianity.

The assault led to Suella Braverman writing in The Telegraph that in her time as house secretary she “grew to become conscious of church buildings across the nation facilitating industrial-scale bogus asylum claims”.

The Church has been pressured to reply to accusations from politicians that it’s serving to asylum seekers sport the asylum system with pretend conversion claims. 

Affinity chief, Graham Nicholls, writing in a weblog for the church community’s web site, admitted it was a “difficult space” and mentioned it was essential for church leaders to be discerning and act with “integrity and knowledge”.

While there have been cases of some individuals “faking it”, different experiences of conversion amongst foreigners have been “real”, he insisted.

“Churches don’t run the asylum system and it isn’t for us to resolve whether or not it’s proper for any particular person to remain right here. Our responsibility as church leaders is to deal with this matter with each compassion and a dedication to fact, guided by the rules embodied by Christ,” he mentioned. 

“Contrary to claims of widespread abuse, our private experiences with asylum seekers looking for refuge in Christianity haven’t revealed a big inflow.

“However, I do know of conditions the place there have been conversions from individuals coming from different international locations with honest non secular starvation who are actually residing properly as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Nicholls mentioned it was essential for church leaders to show “sympathy moderately than cynicism” in direction of individuals coming to them for assist, and that they need to “prolong compassion” to anybody displaying a “honest” curiosity within the Christian religion, particularly these for whom such an curiosity places them in peril.

He admitted there was a necessity for “heightened vigilance” and that church leaders ought to look out for “crimson flags”, however he insisted this was true for all individuals displaying an curiosity within the Christian religion.

“Yet – simply as we must always for anybody saying they’re Christians – we recognise the significance of discernment. It is our responsibility to check the authenticity of people’ beliefs and observe how they stay out their new religion. Sadly, in some circumstances, we might have determined that for no matter purpose they’re ‘faking it’,” he mentioned. 

“In sure contexts, we acknowledge the necessity for heightened vigilance, recognising potential ‘crimson flags’ which will counsel insincerity.

“We love heartfelt conversions to Christ from all religions and none, and we’re devoted to offering a welcoming setting for these genuinely in danger of their house international locations. However, we’re additionally dedicated to appearing with integrity and knowledge. Pray for all Christian leaders as they navigate this difficult space.”



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