A Chinese migrant seeking refugee status in Canada on the grounds that he faced persecution back home for his Christian beliefs was repeatedly asked by the Immigration and Refugee Board last year to describe what Jesus was “like as a person.” (…)
In assessing Mr. Wang’s refugee claim, board adjudicator Daniel McSweeney asked Mr. Wang: “So tell me about Jesus as a person. What was he like?
“Jesus is son of God,” Mr. Wang said.
“I am not asking who he was or what he did. I am asking what is he like as a person,” Mr. McSweeney said.
“Jesus was conceived through the holy ghost and was born in this world,” Mr. Wang replied.
The answer did not satisfy the board member. “Anybody could memorize a creed and recite the creed. I want to know what you believe and what you know of Jesus as a person.”
“In my heart he is my saviour,” Mr. Wang answered.
“That is not . . . again, tell me what Jesus is as a person and this is the last time I am going to ask you.”
“I am sorry I really do not know how to answer.”
Last August, the board denied Mr. Wang’s refugee claim after finding that he was not credible and that his professed religious beliefs and practices in China and Canada were merely an attempt to bolster his refugee claim. (…)
Ms. Dench noted that the Federal Court ruled last month that four Eritrean refugees were unfairly rejected by a Canadian visa officer in Cairo, Egypt, in part because they had been asked inappropriate faith-based questions.
The visa officer did not believe that two of the applicants were Pentecostal because they had been unable to name the “seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
But the court ruled that the visa officer’s questions were not fact-based and arbitrary and noted that the officer admitted her knowledge of the Pentecostal faith was based on Google searches.