According to new reports from The Telegraph, Muslim refugees from Syria have begun converting to Christianity in an attempt to improve their chances of migrating to the U.S.
One particular duo of Muslim Syrians living in Lebanon admitted to converting to Christianity in order to receive aid from Christian charities.
They also claim their chances of attaining asylum are higher.
“A lot of people are doing it to get to Europe, the U.S., and Canada. While I plan to stay in Lebanon, I know hundreds who been baptized just to help their applications. They would do anything to have security for their family,” said Ibrahim Ali, a homeless refugee occupying in Beirut.
“The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) tells us it doesn’t help your application to be Christian, but that’s not our experience,” said Alia al-Haji, a wife and mother of three children who applied for asylum in Canada as a Christian.
“I have people begging me to help them become Christian,” said Pastor Said Deeb of the Church of God, who receives hundreds of refugees seeking asylum per month. “They think it will help them claim asylum abroad. They say, ‘Just baptize me, I will believe in whoever just to leave here.’”
Despite Muslims considering Christian conversion, reports show nearly 98% of the Syrian refugees brought to the U.K. under the government’s resettlement program in 2016 were of Muslim background. Only 2% were Christian.
In the U.S., the State Department Refugee Processing Center granted asylum to 11,491 migrants in 2016. Nearly 99% of those migrants were Sunni Muslims.
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