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Don’t discriminate against Christian refugees, charity warns British government

The Barnabas Fund has said Government plans to rescue refugees from camps will lead to Christians being left behind

The Government’s plan to take in refugees from Syria effectively discriminates against Christians, a charity has warned.

The 20,000 or so refugees that Britain will resettle over the next five years will be from refugee camps, which Christians try to avoid, seeking shelter in churches instead.

Patrick Sookhdeo, founder and international director of the Barnabas Fund, said: “The British government has said it will take 20,000 refugees and we have said, ‘Will you not take some Christians?’ But we have had no reply.”

He told the Sunday Express: “What David Cameron is doing, we believe, is unfair. He has said he will go to the camps to get the refugees, but the problem is that the Christians don’t like to live in the camp.
“What they prefer to do is to live in church halls or else with families and the reason is that it is safer for them. What we are saying to the Government is that you need a broader based approach.”

Earlier this year the Barnabas Fund launched Operation Safe Havens to rescue Middle East Christians in danger from ISIS.

The charity, funded by Jewish peer Lord Weidenfeld, who found refuge in Britain after fleeing the Nazis, flew 150 Christians by privately-chartered plane from Syria to Poland with the permission of the Polish government and Syria’s Assad regime.

The Barnabas Fund and another charity, Muslim Aid, have issued a joint appeal asking the Government to look after both Muslims and

“By all means take the most vulnerable people but don’t just take them from the camps because you are only going to get one kind of people,” Sookhdeo said.

In July Lord Weidenfeld said he was funding rescue operations because he had “a debt to repay”. In 1938 he was taken in by the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian group, after he reached Britain from Nazi-occupied Austria.



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