Today, on The Stream:
More Smoke and Mirrors in the Ongoing Failure to Admit Syrian Christian Refugees to the US
Earlier this fall, the voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) contracted by the federal government and the UN to place Syrian refugees around the United States, sponsored a letter to Congress declaring their opposition to legislation that put “Iraqi and Syrian Christians ahead of Muslims for resettlement in the U.S., even if they are also victims of persecution.” The letter, signed by hundreds of religious leaders, protested calls for strict vetting of Syrian refugees as well as calls for equal time for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities that have been neglected in the refugee resettlement process.
President Obama followed this with finger-wagging accusation of religious bias, accusing Republican presidential candidates of wanting a “religion test” in which “only Christians — proven Christians should be admitted.” A little later Obama accused his opponents of being “scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America … scared of three-year-old orphans.”
(Read the rest here)
The article above follows a piece I wrote for The Stream in November, Scandal: U.S. Christian Groups Prioritize Muslim Refugees over Christian Ones. Here’s Why and another that I wrote last May for the Philos Project, after hearing from the Rt. Reverend Julian Dobbs of the Barnabas Fund, how the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) refused to give asylum for Iraqi Christians — even though all the costs for transportation and resettlement would have been taken care of by a generous British donor. These were families that fled from their homes to Erbil in northern Iraqi Kurdistan.
Update: Two Christian families, 7 people, including 5 children, drowned on November 17. According to the Shai Fund, another great organization working to help Christian and other religious minorities in Erbil, these persecuted Christians were trying to cross from Turkey into Europe since they were not accepted by the United States for resettlement.
Yazidis families have met the same fate, trying to leave the Middle East on their own and make the treacherous sea journey. Please pray that these Christians and other religious minority families will find refuge.