UK Archbishop Slams Plan To Send Migrants To Rwanda

In this file photo taken on October 18, 2021, The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks during a service of prayer and remembrance in honour of slain British lawmaker David Amess, at St Margaret’s Church, in central London. Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP

 

The leader of the Church of England, Justin Welby, Sunday, criticised the British government’s plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to process their claims. 

The scheme has sparked outrage and widespread criticism from human rights organisations and even the UN.

And Welby, who as the Archbishop of Canterbury is the Church of England’s highest cleric, added his voice to the dissent in his Easter Day address.

While “the details are for politics and politicians,” Welby suggested that sending asylum seekers overseas posed “serious ethical questions.

“The principle must stand the judgement of God and it cannot,” Welby said.

A country like Britain informed by Christian values cannot “sub-contract out our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well like Rwanda,” the church leader continued.

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It “is the opposite of the nature of God.”

When unveiling the policy last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had already suggested there could be legal challenges to the plans.

But the interior ministry, or Home Office, which is in charge of implementing the policy, argued that Britain’s current system was “broken” and pointed to unprecedented global migratory pressures.

‘Whatever it takes’ 

Johnson has pledged to do “whatever it takes” to ensure the plans work — but the UN refugee agency UNHCR condemned the scheme as an “egregious breach of international law.”

According to an exchange of letters published by the Home Office, the ministry’s top civil servant, Matthew Rycroft, stressed on the eve of the announcement his doubts about both the expected “deterrent effect” of the scheme and its cost.

But Home Secretary Priti Patel said it would be “imprudent” to delay a measure that “we believe will reduce illegal migration, save lives, and ultimately break the business model of the smuggling gangs”.

According to Rwanda, the British government will fund the deal by up to 120 million pounds ($157 million, 144 million euros) and migrants would be “integrated into communities across the country.”

British media from the left-leaning Guardian to the conservative Daily Telegraph on Saturday warned the policy could spark a “mutiny” among civil servants tasked with making the scheme operational.

For Tahsin Tarek, a 25-year-old glazier from Arbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, who is saving up to finance a new trip to Europe, the British announcement is a game changer.

“I’m going to think about another country,” he told AFP on Saturday.

“To live here and endure the difficulties here is better than living in Rwanda.

“I don’t think anyone will accept this decision and go live there. If they give the refugees a choice between being expelled to Rwanda or their country, they will choose their own country.”

AFP

Inter Religious Harmony Will Aid Peace And Progress In Nigeria – Oritsejafor

CAN_AyoThe National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has stressed the need for inter religious harmony for the peace and progress of Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at a conference organised by Christian Elders Forum of Northern Nigeria, Pastor Oritsejafor appealed to religious leaders to be in the vanguard of promoting peace.

Pastor Oritsejafor described insurgency as a crime against humanity and advised members of Boko Haram to repent in the interest of the nation.

The Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs for the Church of England, Dr Toby Howarth, who delivered a goodwill message from the Archbishop of Canterbury also emphasized the need for religious harmony, describing Nigeria as a country with great potentials.

With the theme ‘Voices Against Violence’, the conference being attended by Christian leaders from the 19 northern states is aimed at addressing issues of security and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Anglican Primate Insists On Anti-Gay Stand

The Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion has announced its opposition to the decision of the Church of England saying gay clerics can become bishops so long as they remain sexually abstinent.

Making this known today in Lagos, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, insists that the anti-gay stand of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion remains unchanged.