British appeal court recognises threat to Christian converts
“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. ”
– 1 Peter 1:22 [NIV]
A UK immigration court of appeal has for the first time recognised the threat to the lives of Muslim converts to Christianity by granting asylum to a Syrian evangelical Christian couple. In an unprecedented victory, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) helped a young couple (whose identity is being withheld for security reasons) gain refugee status in the UK.
The court recognised that the couple would face real physical threats, including death, if they returned to Syria, the husband’s country of origin. Their appeal was granted on both asylum and human rights grounds.
“This is a significant and groundbreaking decision that clearly puts the focus on the fact that many converts to Christianity from Islam face real danger including the ultimate penalty of death,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ECLJ.
The couple had converted to evangelical Christianity a few years ago and thereafter witnessed openly to Muslims using internet chat rooms. After their conversion, which in Syria is considered apostasy under Shariah law and therefore punishable by death, the couple began receiving death threats, including a video of a beheading. The husband’s family told him that if he refused to return to Islam then they would “wash their shame”, or put him to death.
Organisers helped to gather the signatures of six US Congressmen for a letter to the UK appeals court in August. American lawmakers also recognised that the couple faced a “credible threat” and that their lives were in danger.
Source: Christian Today
1. Pray that God would protect this young couple from members of their own family and the wider Muslim community who would wish to harm them
2. Pray that the plight of Muslim-background believers living in the UK would be recognised by British believers and the UK courts
3. Pray for courage for believers in Syria, who are seeking to share their faith with others via the internet and through personal contacts.
Thank you for praying with us.