Whats On

Barnabas Update – January 30th 2019

NZ offers no sanctuary to any Christian refugees

Barnabas Fund, 22 January 2019

Government figures released to Barnabas Fund show that no Christians from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq were granted the right to resettle in New Zealand last year.

In the 12 months up to 31 October 2018, the country gave sanctuary to 1,019 refugees. Of the 389 from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, all were Muslims.

Figures for previous years, obtained by Barnabas under the Official Information Act, are equally bleak. In 2016, only 6 of the 377 Syrians granted sanctuary were Christians, and in the 5 weeks up to 10 February 2017 none of the 45 Syrians allowed to settle were Christians. Yet Christians made up 10% of Syria’s population before the war.

A spokesman for the NZ Labour government said refugees were considered for resettlement on the basis of “their protection needs and not religious affiliation”.

The UK government also faces “embarrassment” over the tiny minority of Christian Syrians offered sanctuary here.