A statement signed by more than 1,450 church leaders opposing the government’s Illegal Migration Bill has been handed to 10 Downing Street, saying that the government’s proposals are “incompatible with our Christian conviction that all human beings are made in the image of God”.
In the statement, church leaders say they are “appalled” by the proposals in the government’s Illegal Migration Bill to “detain, punish and reject thousands of people seeking safety”, and that they will “foster discrimination and distrust” and cause “immeasurable harm”.
Church leaders are calling on the government to withdraw the legislation, and to honour the UK’s “moral and international obligations” by establishing “safe and accessible routes to enable the UK to play its part in welcoming people in need of safety”. The leaders argue that when two out of three people crossing the channel in small boats have their claim for asylum accepted, rendering them unable to have their claim heard or access a safe route essentially puts a ban on claiming asylum in the UK for many people.
The statement was handed in to 10 Downing Street by representatives from The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church in Britain, the United Reformed Church, Churches Together in England and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. It was initially released in March by senior leaders from The Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church, and has since gathered support from more than 1,450 church leaders in communities across the UK.
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