Evangelicals say Christian refugees are being shut out of the US

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: Protesters gather outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. to take action against America's refugee ban in New York City, U.S., March 28, 2017.

A group of evangelical Christians are concerned that only a handful of Christians from the Middle East have been admitted to the US so far this year.

During an Evangelical Immigration Table conference call on Monday, evangelical activists said the US government appeared to have closed the nation's doors to Christians who are seeking asylum from persecution in their home countries in 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 US as refugees,' said Kathryn Freeman, director of public policy for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, according to The Christian Post.

According to data from the Refugee Processing Center, eight of the Christian refugees admitted to the US this year came from Afghanistan, two were from Iran, seven from Iraq, three from Syria and one was from Saudi Arabia.

In 2016, under the Obama Administration, a total of 1,315 Middle Eastern Christians were resettled in the US between January 1 and June 19 that year.

The US is expected to resettle less than the 45,000 cap that was set by President Donald Trump for 2018.

The Trump administration only admitted a total of 29,725 refugees in 2017, compared to 99,183 refugees resettled during the previous year under the Obama administration.

Last week, the Southern Baptist Convention approved resolutions that were aimed at addressing the global refugee crisis and immigration.

Freeman said that many Baptist churches have already launched ESL programs and are actively serving refugee communities in Texas.

She said that as many as 9,000 refugees have been resettled in Texas in 2016, but she expects that only 1,500 will be resettled in the state this year due to the slowdown in admissions. 'Other states are obviously experiencing similar declines,' she said, according to The Christian Post.

 

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