The British Government is being slated for its callousness towards Christians in the Middle East.
The charity Barnabas Fund has compared the way Britain has treated refugees from Syria and Iraq with the way Jewish refugees were turned back to Europe before the Second World War.
"Britain has exercised a level of callousness in terms of refugees from Syria and Iraq that is unbelievable," it says. "Given the historical connection between the UK and Northern Iraq, whose Assyrian Christians fought for Britain in two world wars and in the interim period, and given that the Iraqi Christians have suffered intensely because of Britain's illegal intervention in Iraq, the British Government has shown them scant regard, compassion or mercy."
The charity says the situation is reminiscent of the US refusal to allow entry to 907 Jewish refugees who sailed from Germany in May, 1939. Forced to return to Europe, many died in the Holocaust.
Church leaders have appealed to David Cameron for Britain to carry out its "moral responsibility" to shelter more refugees from Syria.
Andrew Carey wrote in last week's Church of England Newspaper: "last weekend 50 Syrian Christian families flew into Warsaw, having been chased out of their homes in areas of the country controlled by so-called Islamic State. The Polish and Belgium governments have been among the first in Europe to accept such significant communities en masse. The Christian relief agency, the Barnabas Fund, has indicated that a further 200 families will be settled in Poland. The agency is openly seeking further governments to offer welcome to these vulnerable, persecuted people, but Western European governments, including our own, are resisting doing what is right.
"There are many thousands of displaced Christians in the Middle East. ISIL now has a policy of destroying Christian homes, in addition to its policy of torture, slavery, rape, killing and crucifixion.
"It is a disgrace that the British government will not even consider the case for treating Christians as a particularly vulnerable group of people and offering them asylum. One day we will look back and wonder how we could have observed the attempted extermination of a whole community in the Middle East and done nothing."
Doing the right thing needs to come before political expediency.
Refugee status is not certain for Christians facing death at the hands of Muslims in the Middle East. The criterion is contained
in Statute 6B of the UN High Commission for Refugees, which requires refugees to have "a well-founded fear of persecution
by reason of his race, religion, nationality or political opinion." Unfortunately
the UN believes Islam is a religion of peace, and takes no account of
the penalties for apostasy.
American activists claim
Christians are not being allowed into the US, while Muslims, who do not
suffer the same degree of religious persecution, are allowed to