A group of about 600 refugees are spending Christmas inside the Central Methodist Church adjacent to Greenmarket Square, in the Cape Town CBD.

The group has been at the church since the end of October after they were evicted from the offices of the UN High Commission for Refugees, where they had staged a sit-in for days following a fresh wave of xenophobic attacks in September.

They demanded that the UNHCR move them out of the country, saying they are no longer safe in South Africa.

They are now living at the Methodist Church, claiming they have nowhere else to go.

Recently, the City of Cape Town took them to court in a bid to stop them from making fires around the church premises.

Municipal authorities also accused the refugees of being hostile towards City Law Enforcement officers.

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