Refugee Intake To Increase From Middle-Eastern Countries

ausrw.jpgBy: Aaron Smith
Christian Today Correspondent Font Scale:A A A

The media is reporting that the Federal Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, is expected to announce the intake of more refugees from the Middle East, in particular Iraqi Christians.

Mr. Andrews is expected to increase the Middle East intake component from 28 percent to 35 percent, while reducing the African intake percentage from 50 to 30 percent, reported the Daily Telegraph which is a local news publication. The drop in the African intake component was attributed to an improvement in some of the countries’ situation as well as an increase in the numbers returning home.

Baghdad’s Armenian Archbishop Avak Asadourian, primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Etchmiadzin) in Iraq, told the World Council of Churches (WCC) that the situation in his country was ‘tragic’ and that the violence was being targeted at everyone.

“The situation is the same for all Iraqis, Christians or Muslims, and it is a tragic one. Bullets do not discriminate between religions,” he said.

“The violence is targeting everyone in the same way. Of course, in a context of complete lawlessness, some thugs do whatever they want. They can threaten you, kidnap or kill you.”

Archbishop Asadourian has made an appeal to churches outside, especially those in the occupying countries, stating: “Help us to make life better for the Iraqi people, to alleviate its suffering, to keep their governments’ promises for a better future in all walks of life, and ask for God’s help in this humanitarian endeavour,” to the WCC.

The United Nation Human Right Commission for Refugees has reported that 1.2 million Iraqi Christians have fled the country since the start of last year.