People who attend church services regularly tend to be friendlier and more open to immigration than Christians who do not go to church often, a study by the University of Bristol has found.
Speaking to Premier about the research, University of Bristol professor Dr. Siobhan McAndrew said there were certain factors that made regular churchgoers more open to immigration, such as the congregation's active involvement in charity. The study showed that 55 percent of regular churchgoers were in favor of letting persecuted refugees stay in the U.K., and only 45 percent of those who attended church less than once a month said the same thing.
"In churches, there's a lot of voluntary action and a lot of charitable involvement. Churches often act as hubs where local political figures may come and give talks and have debate and they encourage people to mix and feel that problems are solvable," Dr. McAndrew told Premier. "So people that attend church regularly, they have a weaker sense of immigration threatening."
In addition, Dr. McAndrew said people's exposure to others who come from different backgrounds also contribute to their attitudes toward immigration. She said regular church attendees find common ground with Christians from other countries, so nationality does not really matter to them.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross claimed that the lack of government aid for asylum seekers after they are given refugee status is causing the number of people living in poverty to increase. In just one year, refugees and asylum seekers living destitute lives have increased by 20 percent, The Independent has revealed.
In light of the situation, campaigners have urged U.K. ministers to extend government support to asylum seekers while their applications are being processed, as they are not allowed to work without official refugee status. Asylum and housing support for these people notably end after 28 days.