C of E attacks Government over failure to help Iraqi Christians

18 Aug 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The Government has come under fire from the Church of England over its stance on helping persecuted Christians in Iraq.

Senior bishops have raised concerns that the Government is not willing to offer more help because of anti-immigration sentiments in the UK and concerns that they may lose support to hard line anti-immigration parties such as Ukip.

The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Rev Nicholas Baines, has written to the Prime Minister David Cameron, with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In his letter, he questions why ministers have not responded to parliamentary questions about whether Iraqi Christians will be allowed to come to the UK.

The Bishop wrote: "Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?"

The Bishop, who sent copies of the letter to the press and published it on his own website, said there appeared to be little cohesive policy on how to tackle the Islamic extremism that had displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Meanwhile, the Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Manchester added that the Government was “repeatedly failing to rise to” its moral obligation. He also suggested that political sensitivity over immigration could be behind the lack of action, the Huffington Post reported.

He told BBC Radio 4: "The numbers that would come here are so small that effectively they are not going to disrupt British society in any noticeable or meaningful way. In fact they would be good assets to our society."