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Posted by: Gherson Immigration

The All-party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom have criticised how the Home Office interview asylum seekers whose claims are based on converting to Christianity.

According to their findings, asylum seekers were being tested on 'bible trivia' rather than focusing on questions, which displayed a deeper understanding on the essence of religion, faith and conversion.

Examples include an Iranian asylum seeker whose claim was rejected after his interview. During the interview, he was asked a range of questions including the colour of the bible's front cover and to recite the Ten Commandments.

Baroness Berridge who led the group's inquiry was concerned, not only, that genuine converts may have their asylum claims unfairly rejected - but that non-genuine converts may be able to pass an interview by studying 'bible trivia'. She stated:

"The problem with those questions is that if you are not genuine you can learn the answers, and if you are genuine, you may not know the answers," she said."When the system did move on to ask about the lived reality of people's faith, we then found that caseworkers, who are making decisions which can be life or death for people, were not properly supported and trained properly."

The Home Office has confirmed that they will assess the Parliamentary Group's report in the light of their findings.

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