Bishops of England and Wales appeal to the Government to review its treatment of Iraqi asylum seekers

The bishops of England and Wales have called on the British Government to do more to help Iraqis fleeing their country.

In a statement following their plenary meeting this week the bishops appealed to the Government to “review its treatment of asylum seekers to ensure that those who have suffered persecution are given the protection that they deserve and to increase its assistance to those Iraqis who have fled to neighbouring states”.

They expressed “deep sadness” at the attacks on Christians and other Iraqis in the country, in particular the massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad.

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“Our prayers and solidarity are with all those who died or suffered,” the bishops said. “Our prayers and solidarity are with all those who died or suffered. We also think of those Iraqis who now live in the United Kingdom and who have lost loved ones or are separated from their families.”

Statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Statement on Iraq

The Bishops of England and Wales express their deep sadness at the attacks on Christians and other Iraqis that have taken place over the last few weeks, in particular, the massacre at Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad. Our prayers and solidarity are with all those who died or suffered. We also think of those Iraqis who now live in the United Kingdom and who have lost loved ones or are separated from their families.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference, will be the main celebrant at a Mass in Westminster Cathedral on Friday 26 November at 7pm for all those who have been killed during those recent atrocities.

The Bishops’ Conference urges Her Majesty’s Government to take what measures it can to assist the Iraqi authorities in improving security for all citizens. The Bishops also ask Her Majesty’s Government to review its treatment of asylum seekers to ensure that those who have suffered persecution are given the protection that they deserve and to increase its assistance to those Iraqis who have fled to neighbouring states.

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