Since the beginning of this year, so far, only 10 Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria have been taken in by the US. Despite the fact that Trump administration pledged to help Christian and other religious minorities devastated by the ferocity of the terror group Islamic State.
In this regard, Kathryn Freeman, an evangelical activist and director of public policy for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, raised her voice criticizing the U.S. government for abandoning the persecuted Christians from the Middle East. “These persecuted Christians have almost been entirely shut out in the past six months, during which time just 21 Christians from the Middle East have been admitted to the U.S. as refugees,” she noted.
A breakdown of those allowed in the US, reveal that the eight Christian refugees resettled in the US came from Afghanistan. At the same time number of Muslim refugees allowed in the US has also gradually dropped. Since January 1, only 468 Muslims were resettled to the US from the Middle East.
“I think it is also important to note that we feel the national slowdown in refugee resettlement is affecting refugees of all faiths. Muslim refugees are obviously disproportionately being shut out. Our concern as Baptists particularly and our history of being a religious minority, we believe in religious liberty for all. So we find that very troubling”, Kathryn Freeman explained.
With this pace, the US will only be able to settle less than 22,000 refugees this year which is well short than the figure set by President Trump. Last year, the Trump administration resettled just 29,725 refugees, which is lesser than previous year when Obama administration took 99,183 refugees.
“In the United States, immigrants are a significant and growing part of the body of our local churches. The Apostle Paul writes that one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it. So we are suffering when we see brothers and sisters in Christ persecuted for their faith and then turned away from the U.S. refugee resettlement program, when we see families fleeing horrific violence in Central America reach the U.S. in the hopes of finding safety only to have their children ripped from their arms,” Trillia Newbell, director of community outreach at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission said.