There is a lot being said right now about what to do with the Syrian refugees fleeing their country. The Center for Security Policy posted an article yesterday that shines a different light on the situation.
The article reports:
President Obama made headlines today in reaction to a question from the press regarding the possibility of taking in Syrian Christian and other religious minorities ahead or in place of Syrian Muslims (Syria is majority Sunni Muslim.) The President responded aggressively claiming such a policy was, “… not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”
The reality however is that the Refugee Resettlement system already has “a religious test of their compassion”, to quote the president. And that’s a test which actively disfavors Christians, according to figures released by the State Department:
Of 2,184 Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011, only 53 (2.4 percent) have been Christians while 2098 (or 96 percent) have been Muslims, according to State Department statistics updated on Monday. The remaining 33 include 1 Yazidi, 8 Jehovah Witnesses, 2 Baha’i, 6 Zoroastrians, 6 of “other religion,” 7 of “no religion,” and 3 atheists.
According to the CIA Factbook, Syria has a Christian population of 10%. Approximately between 500,000 and 700,000 Christians have fled Syria–about 16% to 23% of the estimated 3 million Syrians who have fled. Since Christians are one of the main targets of the Islamists, this figure makes sense.
So what is going on here? America does not get to choose her refugees.
The article reports:
As Nina Shea highlights at National Review, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is typically the deciding agency, and recommends to the United States which refugees will be resettled. So the selection process hits several snags. Firstly, Christian refugees almost overwhelmingly avoid United Nations refugee camps out of legitimate fears of possible violence against them. Reports of attacks on Christians refugees by their Muslim counterparts have been reported, such as when Christian refugees on a boat in the Mediterranean were thrown overboard, and German police have openly urged publicly separating Christian and Muslim refugees, due to attacks. In one case a Christian convert was beaten unconscious by a metal baton.
The second part of the problem is the fact that the United Nations is very much controlled by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC comprises the largest voting block in the United Nations. The OIC is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, where the practice of Christianity is illegal.
The article explains the third part of the problem:
Thirdly, and perhaps most largely problematic, is the appearance of overt anti-Christian bias by the State Department itself. As good friend of the Center, Institute for Religion and Democracy’s Faith McDonnell notes in her recent piece on the state of Christian refugees, the State Department has explicitly declared they, “would not support a special category to bring Assyrian Christians into the United States,” in response to a plan by a private aid group to fund, entirely free of taxpayer dollars, the transport of Assyrian Christians facing extermination by Islamic State.
In other words, even when its free, no cost to them, the State Department has preferred to snub Christians rather than save them.
There is a religious test for refugees. Unfortunately that test is not only against the best interests of America, it discriminates against a persecuted group of refugees.