Is the Church of England complicit in the rise of ‘Pray to Stay’?

Nov 20, 2021 by

by Sian Boyle, Mailonline:

After Liverpool bomber’s conversion, how church gave official advice that being baptised can help failed asylum seekers stay in Britain.

On the day of his confirmation, Enzo Almeni walked through the grand West Doors of Liverpool’s world-famous Anglican Cathedral, beneath the monumental statue of the Risen Christ.

He crossed the marbled floor, past the stone tombs of long-forgotten clergymen and commemorative plaques to the great and good of the City, to take his place in a pew before the high altar.

It was March 27, 2017, and Almeni was welcomed into the Church with open arms, in a ceremony attended by beaming friends and well-wishers — among them the retired, devout Christian couple who would invite him to live with them just days later.

This week the cathedral was part of a key line of inquiry for counter-terrorism police investigating a bomb explosion in a taxi parked outside a hospital a mile away, at 10.59am on Remembrance Sunday.

And, as we now know, the bomber was Enzo Almeni, a Christian convert who had changed his name by deed poll from Emad Al Swealmeen, and who had allegedly spent the months preparing explosives which, police confirmed yesterday, could have caused ‘significant injury or death’.

The second terror attack in a month — following the killing of MP Sir David Amess — has seen the UK threat level raised to ‘severe’.

It has also revealed to the wider public a flaw in the asylum process that some argue may have undermined national security for years: how churches and faith groups have, often innocently, aided some asylum seekers who falsely claim to be Christian converts in order to remain in the UK.

In the wake of the attempted Liverpool atrocity — in which Almeni died — a row has erupted over the so-called ‘Pray to Stay’ racket.

MPs from the Home Office Select Committee are demanding a Parliamentary inquiry, and a counter-extremism think-tank is calling for an investigation into the ‘Liverpool Cathedral convert cluster’.

Read here

Read also: Liverpool bomber ‘reverted to Islam’ in months before attack, The Times

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