Barnabas Fund claims the rejection of 80 per cent of Christian refugee visas
Organisation says the majority of 300 visas were granted to Sunni Muslims
They asked Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to investigate the allocations
Mr Dutton’s office said they had accepted more than 4000 from Syria and Iraq
Barnabas has raised $1.2 million to fund the expenses of 1048 Christian refugees
By Tanya Li for Daily Mail Australia
Christian church leaders are urging the Australian government to grant more humanitarian visas to religiously persecuted Christians from Syria and Iraq.
The federal government has rejected 80 per cent of refugee status applications submitted by the Barnabas Fund for Syrian and Iraqi Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds, the organisation claims.
The Christian aid agency claims the overwhelming majority of visas were granted to Sunni Muslims arriving from UNHCR camps, who are not persecuted minorities.
‘In our experience 80 per cent of our applications for Muslim converts have been rejected’, South Asia Facilitator of Barnabas, Jude Simion, told Daily Mail Australia.
Christian church leaders are urging the Australian government to grant more humanitarian visas to religiously persecuted minorities from Syria and Iraq (pictured is a group of asylum seekers at Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea)
The federal government has rejected 80 per cent of refugee status applications submitted by the Barnabas Fund for Syrian and Iraqi Christian converts from Muslim backgrounds
Mr Simion said Christians avoid UNHCR camps due to fears of being persecuted.
The organisation claims that 80 per cent of more than 300 applications submitted to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office in Melbourne were rejected.
Mr Dutton’s office has reportedly investigated the allocation of the visas, chair of the Christian organisation’s persecuted minorities advocacy group, Canon Dr David Claydon told Fairfax Media.
Mr Dutton asked the organisation to help bring Christian refugees into Australia, Dr Claydon said, but at least 80 per cent were rejected.
Those rejected were apostates – someone who has converted – but all had converted a long time ago, Dr Claydon said.
‘It is always the converts’.
A spokesperson for Mr Dutton told Fairfax Media that Australia had accepted more than 4000 people from Syria and Iraq for several years in addition to the intake of 12,000 refugees on humanitarian visas.
This special scheme was announced by the government in September 2015.
More than 18,000 refugee visas have been granted to people displaced by conflict in Syria and Iraq – with 10,239 towards the additional 12,000 places between 2015 and 2017.