Reg. No. 1084047
Editorial supervisor, Dr. Helmy Guirguis
Dr. Helmy Guirguis 71, the president of the UK Copts, passed away on the 31 of January, 2015 after a struggle with illness. UK Copts mourns its founder and leader. He is a leader that touched so many by his life and has been fighting for the coptic case till his last breath. The commemoration mass for his 40th day will be held on Sunday 15th of March, 2014 starting 8 AM in Saint Mary and Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Centre of Birmingham (Lapworth) .For commiserations, please send us an email to

Refuge for Iraqi Christians could play into Islamic State's hands – bishop

Granting asylum in the UK and other western countries to large numbers of Christians and other minorities fleeing Isil militants could help them achieve their plan to 'cleanse' Iraq, says Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali Granting asylum to persecuted Iraqi Christians and religious minorities could unwittingly aid Jihadists in their goal of “cleansing” the Middle East of non-Muslims, a bishop has insisted.
The former Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, said well-intentioned calls for Britain to welcome refugees from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) could play into the hands of militants and spell the end of a Christian presence dating back almost 2,000 years.
His remarks, reinforced in a letter to The Telegraph, effectively break ranks with the official stance of the Church of England which has repeatedly pressed David Cameron and other ministers to accept refugees fleeing persecution because of their faith.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby; the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu and the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Rev Christopher Cocksworth, are among those who have publicly called for victims to be given asylum.
But Bishop Nazir-Ali said that while those behind the calls were “kind, good people”, the plan could do more harm than good.
“If that is the only plan that we have up our sleeve it is simply fulfilling what the Islamic State wants,” he said.
He emphasised that Isil threatens not only to Christians and Yazidis but also to Iraq’s Shia Muslim population.
“Syria and Iraq have been places where there has been this ancient diversity of communities and this is exactly what Isil wants to destroy,” he said.
He insisted that only the presence of international forces backed by the UN and intensive negotiations to end the civil war in Syria would ultimately secure their future.
The bishop who has previously worked alongside Coptic Orthodox leaders to support asylum claims by those driven out because of their faith, said there would clearly be some cases where it was impossible for people to return who should be given refuge.
But he pointed to the example in his native Pakistan where large numbers of Afghan refugees had been temporarily accommodated in the past but were eventually able to return.
“We are talking about millions of people who have been displaced, we can’t offer asylum to them all and while Britain needs to be generous to those in real need I would be very sorry indeed if this meant the end of the ancient Christian presence in Iraq and the destruction of what we have called a mosaic of diversity.
“I can see why they are saying this, they are kind, good people but you have got to be hard-headed about this.”
The Telegraph – UK

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