‘Religious persecution’ claimed by more asylum seekers in Canada

September 19, 2020

By Vancouver Sun |

A rising number of “irregular migrants” are arriving in Canada and saying they are victims of religious persecution.

Many of the roughly 60,000 of these migrants who found a way into Canada last year are claiming either political or, increasingly, religious persecution, according to an internal report by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

People leaving the growing number of countries where religious freedom is deteriorating are the most likely to claim being persecuted. Last year, more than 6,800 “irregular migrants” from India found their way to Canada, 5,365 from Iran, 3,891 from Nigeria, 2,465 from Pakistan and 1,920 from China.

The CBSA intelligence document, restricted to officials with a security clearance, uses the term “irregular migrant” to describe people who use illegal means to cross into Canada before applying as a refugee.

“Top nationalities for which religious persecution is most likely to lead irregular migration are: India, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and China. The downward trending of religious freedom around the world means that persecution due to religion continues to be a push factor for irregular migration,” says the unsigned CBSA document, which predicts there will be a surge in persecution claims from Egyptians.

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