Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


Anglicans Tighten Rules to Prevent Sham Marriages

LONDON (RNS) Couples suspected of using their wedding vows as a ruse to skirt immigration laws will be required to meet strict identity checks and face greater scrutiny under new Church of England guidelines to stop sham marriages.

The guidelines announced Tuesday (April 12) by the Church’s House of Bishops target the practice of some vicars conspiring in fake weddings between British nationals and illegal immigrants as a means toward gaining legal residency.

The church directives place the onus on clergy and legal officers to help stop the scam that has resulted in 155 police arrests around the country.

In one case, one vicar was sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in a sham marriage ring that helped hundreds of illegal immigrants remain in Britain.

The new guidelines advise clergy against offering to publish banns (in which a couple’s marital intentions are read aloud on three consecutive Sundays), particularly for marriages involving non-European Economic Area nationals.

Instead, the couples will have to apply for a “common license,” including swearing affidavits that give proof of identity and address, as well as agreeing to a visit from a vicar and attending marriage preparation classes.

The rules were coordinated with the UK Border Agency. The British government’s immigration minister, Damian Green, warned would-be fraudsters that “a marriage itself does not equal an automatic right to remain” in Britain.

Church leaders are clear, Bishop John Packer of Ripon and Leeds said, “that the office of holy matrimony must not be misused by those who have no intention of contracting a genuine marriage but merely a sham marriage.”

- AL WEBB, Religion News Service



Advertisement
Comments read comments(2)
post a comment
pagansister

posted April 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm


The church is most certainly doing the right thing. No problems with their actions.



report abuse
 

Pingback: Anglicans Tighten Rules to Prevent Sham Marriages

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.