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Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

Letter to the Editor Leicester Diocese Illogical   Sir, Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters' is both spiritually and financially illogical.  The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to...

Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

UK Government Announces Plans for Afghan Relocation & Assistance

UK Government Announces Plans for Afghan Relocation & Assistance

The UK government has announced its plans for assisting people who were evacuated from Afghanistan.  

According to the official government website:

“There are two separate schemes designed to help with the specific situation in Afghanistan. The ARAP (Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy) scheme is for around an estimated 5000 Afghans who are current or former locally employed staff (e.g. interpreters, embassy guards) who are assessed to be under serious threat to life and their families. The scheme in its current form has run since April.

The Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme is a new scheme that will welcome 5,000 Afghan citizens in year one, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long term. It is aimed at those most in need who have been forced to flee Afghanistan, including women, girls and children at risk given their particular vulnerability.

Every person coming to the UK as part of the resettlement scheme will be subject to the same strict security checks as those resettled through other schemes.

All refugees (i.e. anyone who arrives through either resettlement scheme) have access to mainstream benefits and services, including access to healthcare via the NHS and funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages through the Adult Education Budget (if they are unemployed and looking for work). They also have immediate and unrestricted access to the labour market and are eligible to receive employment support from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Anyone who arrives through the resettlement schemes will have been subject to security checks and have been granted full refugee status. However, it should be noted that many more people from Afghanistan will (and indeed already are) be arriving by irregular means (e.g. by boat). These are classed as asylum seekers and need to apply for refugee status. In the year to March 2021, over 3,000 Afghan nationals had asylum claims pending in the UK, over two-thirds of whom have been waiting longer than six months.

Asylum seekers are eligible for some support though it is much more limited than for refugees. This support includes:

  • A weekly payment of £39.64 is designed to help pay for things like food, clothing and toiletries. The allowance is loaded onto a debit card (ASPEN card) each week
  • Accommodation, but with no choice about where this will be
  • Basic health and dental care, and free prescriptions
  • Children must go to school and may receive free meals.

According to various NGOs in the country, Afghanistan is thought to have several thousand citizens who’ve converted from Islam to Christianity during the last twenty years.  Under the form of Shariah law espoused by the Taliban, such conversions are illegal and merit the death penalty.  Christian converts were not evacuated to western nations.

Churches across the UK are formulating their approaches on how to minister to the evacuees.

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