Immigration case of Muslim convert to Christianity is reopened by federal board
The federal immigration board reopened recently an immigration case regarding a Christian author from Kenya who has lived in the U.S. for at least eleven years and has filed for asylum.
Hussein Wario, author of Cracks in the Crescent, expressed relief at the decision of the immigration board and said it is the first good news he has had about the issue of his appeal for asylum in nine years, Christianity Today said.
The decision noted that Wario’s motion was not opposed by the Department of Homeland Security, and remanded the case to the immigration judge “to provide the respondent a further opportunity to establish his eligibility for relief from removal,” Christianity Today reported.
The motion also indicated new evidence that conditions in Kenya have changed. The judge in the initial ruling decided that Wario could safely return to Kenya provided he stays away from his hometown, the AP said.
In his first appeal, Wario noted that Christian converts from Islam face severe persecution in Kenya and he cited the case of at least one Christian convert who was killed, Christianity Today said.
However, the judge based his ruling on reports from the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, which referred to government-controlled media reports in Kenya, according to Christianity Today.
Wario has maintained contact with other former Muslims in Kenya who have converted to Christianity. He said that these Christians are regularly receiving death threats, Christianity Today said.
He noted that while Kenyan media disregards religious stories such as these, the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2010 says otherwise, Christianity Today reported.
Wario also cited reports from local Christian organizations, especially of Christians of Somali ethnic origin, who along with their families are victims of threats, violence and death at the hands of Muslim religious leaders, Christianity Today said.
Because of this, many Christian converts must go into hiding. A Kenyan reporter said that media policies are inhibitive of reports on religion, and noted that the widely – circulated Daily Nation has an Ismaili Muslim organization as its principle shareholder, according to Christianity Today.
Michigan college graduate
Wario graduated from Hope College in western Michigan in 2000. He is currently living in Chicago and is married to a U.S. citizen. He applied for asylum in August 2002 while he was still living in the U.S. legally, according to Christianity Today.
Wario expressed concern about his personal safety if he is sent back to Kenya because his book, Cracks in the Crescent, details his conversion from Islam to Christianity, according to the AP.
The Board of Immigration Appeals said that Wario may be eligible to remain in the U.S., according to the AP.
Wario’s case is illustrative of the fact that many people are leaving Islam for Christianity, especially if they come from Muslim-majority nations, according to Christianity Today.
Some estimate that six million Muslims in Africa convert to the Christian faith every year, Christianity Today said.