Iranian Christian Convert

SA (Iran), R (on the application of) v SSHD [2012] EWHC 2575 (Admin)
In a judicial review against a certification of an asylum claim by an Iranian Christian convert under S.94(2) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, his Honour Judge Gilbert QC found that current evidence pointed to a greater risk for Iranian Christian converts than is reflected in the rather ‘elderly’ country guidance. He also made the following comments on the judicial assessment of the genuiness of a Christian conversion (at 24): “It is a dangerous thing for anyone, and perhaps especially a judge, to peer into what some call a man or woman’s soul to assess whether a professed faith is genuinely held, and especially not when it was and is agreed that she was and is a frequent participant in church services. It is a type of judicial exercise very popular some centuries ago in some fora, but rather rarely exercised today. I am also uneasy when a judge, even with the knowledge one gains judicially in a city as diverse as Manchester, is bold enough to seek to reach firm conclusions about a professed conversion, made by a woman raised in another culture, from the version of Islam practised therein, to an evangelical church in Bolton within one strand of Christianity. I am at a loss to understand how that is to be tested by anything other than considering whether she is an active participant in the new church.”