- Joseph Lee
- BBC News
In his Easter sermon, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury stressed that the government’s plan to send some asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was “against the nature of God.”
Welby said the resurrection of Christ was not the time to “subcontract our responsibilities.”
He called for a ceasefire in Ukraine and spoke of his concern over the cost of living crisis.
The government says the change is necessary to protect people’s lives from traffickers.
Under the £ 120m scheme – announced this week – persons considered to have entered the UK illegally will be deported to Rwanda in East Africa, where they will be allowed to apply for residency.
The project met with widespread opposition. More than 160 charities and activist groups in the sector have called on ministers to repeal what they describe as a “brutal” policy. The plan was criticized by opposition parties and some members of the ruling Conservative Party.
In his speech at Canterbury Cathedral, Welby said, “there are serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers out of the country.”
He said, “The details are for politicians and politicians. As a matter of policy, it must bear God’s judgment, it can not.”
He added, “As a nation shaped by Christian values it cannot shoulder our national responsibility because it is against the nature of God to export our responsibilities even to a country like Rwanda that seeks benefit. He is responsible. It is our fault.”
The government defended the plan in the face of criticism from the archbishop that the UK had a “respectable history” of supporting those in need and that resettlement programs had provided “safe and legal avenues for a better future” for hundreds of thousands of people. People.
“However, the world is facing an unprecedented global migration crisis and change is needed to prevent malicious human traffickers from endangering their lives and repair the broken global refuge system,” a government spokesman said.
The Interior Ministry said Rwanda was a “safe and stable country” and would abide by the demands of international human rights law.
On Friday, British Home Secretary Priti Patel took personal responsibility for the project, issuing a rare “ministerial order” amid concerns among officials that the exact cost of the project was unknown, so the ministry could not say. Whether the project is financially feasible.
The Department of the Interior released letters exchanged between Battle and Matthew Rycroft, the department’s chief executive, in which he clarified his position.
This is the second time in the last 30 years that the ministry has issued such a ministerial order.
The policy on the project is inhumane, but the government employees’ unions said the authorities should implement it or leave.
In his sermon, the Archbishop spoke of the “greatest crisis in the cost of living as we know it,” saying that families across the country are “rising up in cold houses and on an empty stomach.”
He said the struggle to pay for the necessities of life was the first thing that came to their minds every day and that they felt “less”.
Others who have lost loved ones in the epidemic are “feeling deep and continual loss,” including those who are unable to say goodbye to their loved ones properly, the archbishop added.
In a separate Easter message, the Prince of Wales stressed the plight of “innocents affected by the conflict.”
Prince Charles said his “heart breaks” at the plight of those who are forced to leave their homes by conflict and persecution.
How does the plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda work?
The United Kingdom and Rwanda on Thursday released a new agreement that sees some asylum seekers being sent to East Africa.
Here is what we know about this project so far:
The project will mainly focus on single men who come to the UK illegally in small boats or trucks.
From January 1, those arriving in the UK via these routes will be deported to Rwanda, where their asylum claims will be processed.
When their requests are considered, they will be offered housing and support.
Accepted asylum seekers will help build a ‘new life’ in Rwanda, with up to five years of education and support there, the British government says.
Those whose applications are rejected will be given the opportunity to apply for stay in Rwanda or to return to their home country or another country of which they have a right of residence.
The British government said the first batch of asylum seekers could be transferred to Rwanda in a matter of weeks.
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