Religious discrimination or Christian persecution?
"For many months now I have had an Iraqi Christian, a Catholic of the Chaldean Rite, in my parish. He already has close relatives, already living in England with the right to remain indefinitely. He is a highly qualified, professional medical man who is fleeing the persecution of Christians in his homeland. The Home Office have been exceptionally difficult throughout and opposed his further stays in this country with every weapon in their armoury. In court case after court case the Catholic Church has pleaded for him to be allowed to stay, as yet with little success.
"I was anxiously pondering this case when I was given a copy of the journal of the United Reformed Church. There was an article entirely devoted to the plight of Christians fleeing persecution and attempting to gain admittance to the UK. In essence the article pointed out that the Home Office sets absurdly difficult tests which they expect Christian asylum seekers to pass, often asking questions that a well informed Catholic would find taxing. Furthermore, these tests are uniform across the Christian spectrum and make no distinction between a Catholic petitioner and one from say a Salvation Army background. When the bishops of the Church of England asked the Home Office if they could advise them on what were appropriate questions to test the authenticity of applicants from across the wide spectrum of the Christian family, they were refused. Earlier in the year, asylum seekers who had committed serious crimes were allowed back into the community after their terms of imprisonment. The comparison with the treatment of Christians is remarkable and surely poses an important question."
Cranmer is aware of one instance of immigration assessment in which a Christian convert was asked to explain the Trinity. This, apparently, was considered a fair line of inquiry to determine the veracity or otherwise of the conversion. Since the matter of the Trinity has been a cause of theological strife since Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, first used the term (in writing) in 160, it would seem a little unreasonable to demand that a recent convert would be able to expound the complexities of Monarchianism.
Cranmer wonders if Muslims trying to enter the country are asked to explain the theology of Jihad?