The New York Times Reports that Christian faith leaders are outraged by, and denounce President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to help persecuted Christian refugees.
The Times article notes that President Trump made his intentions to give to help persecuted Christians refugees during an interview with CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody, saying his administration is giving priority to Christians because they had been treated unfairly and suffered “more so” than others, so we are going to help them. You can see our report about the interview here.
The Times also reports that the executive order President Trump signed on Friday titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” gives preference to refugees who belong to a religious minority in their country, and have been persecuted for their religion.
Section 5 (b) of the executive order provides as follows:
(b) Upon the resumption of USRAP [U.S. Refugee Admissions Program] admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization.
As my esteemed colleague streiff pointed out yesterday, this “priority” for persecuted Christian refugees merely extended the 1990 law known as the Lautenberg Amendment. “Nowadays, the amendment, extended last year by Obama, prioritizes the resettlement of Jews, Christians, Baha’is, and other religious minorities who flee Iran. Yesterday, Donald Trump did the same thing for Christians, Shia Muslims, Yazidis, Jews, and Mandeans fleeing Islamic terror in Iraq and Syria.”
But according to the Times, despite having clamored for action and expressing alarm about the persecution Christians overseas, especially in the Middle East, for the last decade, Christian faith leaders don’t care for President Trump’s priority:
A broad array of clergy members has strongly denounced Mr. Trump’s order as discriminatory, misguided and inhumane. Outrage has also come from some of the evangelical, Roman Catholic and mainstream Protestant leaders who represent the churches most active in trying to aid persecuted Christians.
By giving preference to Christians over Muslims, religious leaders have said the executive order pits one faith against another. By barring any refugees from entering the United States for nearly four months, it leaves people to suffer longer in camps, and prevents families from reuniting. Also, many religious leaders have said that putting an indefinite freeze on refugees from Syria, and cutting the total number of refugees admitted this year by 60,000, shuts the door to those most in need.
“We believe in assisting all, regardless of their religious beliefs,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, the chairman of the committee on migration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Jen Smyers, the director of policy and advocacy for the immigration and refugee program of Church World Service, a ministry affiliated with dozens of Christian denominations, called Friday a “shameful day” in America’s history.
I haven’t been so disappointed our Christian faith leaders since they gave a huge propaganda victory to the evil doers in 2006. Then, a coalition of U.S. churches denounced the war in Iraq and claimed that the U.S. was “raining down terror” and entering into imperial projects that seek to dominate and control for the sake of our own national interests. Al-Qaeda’s propagandists could not have imagined a document more helpful to their cause.