Bordering Through Religion: A Case Study of Christians from the Muslim Majority World Seeking Asylum in the UK


The current global ‘crisis’ of the refugee movement has drawn to the forefront longstanding public worries about welcoming and accommodating refugees, especially in liberal democratic States. While religion is central to refuge, very little is known about the experiences of individuals seeking refugee protection on religious grounds and even the racialisation of religious identities within the asylum adjudication system. Drawing on ethnographic research with Christians from Pakistan, who are seeking asylum in the United Kingdom (UK), this paper explores the religious discrimination that this group faces within the context of the UK’s current hostile environment. Findings reveal a complex issue of misdirected Islamophobia, along with other multi-layered forms of stereotyping. By exploring and engaging with these issues, the paper aims to highlight the complex ‘borders’ that those seeking protection on religious grounds have to negotiate as they move through the asylum adjudication system.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2020-08-05
Pages:47 to 60
Section:Special Issue: Migration, Vulnerability and Violence
Fetching Scopus statistics
Fetching Web of Science statistics
How to Cite
Madziva, R. (2020) “Bordering Through Religion: A Case Study of Christians from the Muslim Majority World Seeking Asylum in the UK”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9(3), pp. 47-60. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v9i3.1591.

Author Biography

University of Nottingham
 United Kingdom

Roda Madziva is Assistant Professor in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. Her research centres around migrant and refugee integration, exploring the ideological assumptions that frame discourses of inclusion and exclusion, and the extent to which they reveal racialised hierarchies of human worth. Her empirical work has focused on the use of evidence in immigration law, forced family separation, migrant employability, the integration of Syrian refugees in the UK and the links between migration and contemporary slavery.  

Current projects include an ESRC-GCRF funded study (as PI): ‘Combating Human Trafficking: The role of NGOs in the fight against Human Trafficking In Zimbabwe’ and a BA funded study (as CI): ‘Compounded exclusion: Education for disabled refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa’.