Canada refugee claim denial for “improper” answers to questions

A man from China was denied refugee status in Canada for failing to properly answer strange, quiz-like questions about his religious beliefs last year.

The man said he was facing persecution for his Christian beliefs in China, and that he had even acted as a lookout for an underground Christian church in the country.

Man was asked about “Jesus as a person” in Canada refugee claim assessment

The man was asked to describe Jesus “as a person” three separate times, at which point he responded describing Jesus’ relation to and place in the Christian faith and his personal thoughts about what Jesus represented to him. Finally, when those answers weren’t good enough, he responded with “I am sorry I really do not know how to answer”.

According to the board’s decision, his answers to the question made his refugee story seem not credible.

It’s unclear if the board was looking for “he has long brown hair and was always smiling” as Jesus is depicted in most artists’ renditions as an answer. Last month he appealed and was denied, although the judge noted the questions were awkward.

Also last month, a refugee status claim denial was overturned for four other people after it was determined by Federal Court that they had also been asked quiz-like questions about their religion. Those questions, like the questions asked in the case last year, were also found to be related to things that can’t be based in fact such as the physical appearance or personality of a religious figure from thousands of years ago.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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