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United Kingdom.  A former migrant has condemned the abuse of the asylum system by rejected asylum seekers

United Kingdom. A former migrant has condemned the abuse of the asylum system by rejected asylum seekers

Former Church of England vicar He accused the country's mainstream church of turning a blind eye to the abuses of the asylum system By asylum seekers who have tried unsuccessfully to stay in the UK.

Serious allegations

The Rev Matthew Firth, a former priest at St Cuthbert's Church in Darlington, said he was regularly being offered groups of asylum seekers for baptism, all of whom had already failed their first asylum applications. He accused senior church officials of turning a “blind eye” to the abuse for political reasons.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has been criticized for failing to give evidence to a parliamentary committee investigating abuses in the asylum system. Reverend Firth said Mr Welby was “braver” than the Archbishop, who did not bother to come forward.

Rev Firth said many other vicars and priests knew the system was being abused.

Possible solutions

Reverend Firth suggested the church needed evidence of the practice of Christianity in asylum seekers' countries of origin to distinguish genuine from false claims.

Reverend Firth's testimony sparked significant debate about the role of the Church in helping asylum seekers and the need to reform the UK asylum system.

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