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Number of Christian Refugees Allowed in the US Has Drastically Declined Since 2015

07-15-2020
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Christians around the globe face growing persecution and many look to the United States for refuge. New numbers, however, show they're not getting near the protection compared to previous years and advocates are sounding the alarm.

The number of Christian refugees being allowed into the United States is down 90 percent from 2015. This is a major issue and CBN News has consistently asked the Trump administration about it."    

During an interview with CBN News in 2017, President Donald Trump came out strong on the issue when asked if he saw persecuted Christians as a priority. 

"Yes," Trump replied. "They've been horribly treated."

But new numbers cited by Christian advocacy groups, World Relief and Open Doors USA, show something else. 

This year, the administration cut the refugee ceiling to 18,000. That number includes all Christians and non-Christians. 

The historic average numbers were closer to 81,00 and the 2016 Obama administration cap reached 110,000. 

CBN News Political Analyst David Brody talked about the refugee problem with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a 2019 interview. 

"That means more folks that are trying to flee religious persecution aren't able to come into the United States. At least, that's what some of the critics would say. What's the response to something like that?" Brody asked. 

"We're still the most generous, welcoming nation anywhere in the world," Pompeo answered. "Our objective has been to try and do what those people really want in those cases which is to stay in their own country."

Refugee advocates disagree. 

"A refugee is somebody who can't go back. The conditions are so bad for them, if they go back it won't be safe for them," explained Nadine Maenza, a commissioner with the US Commission for International Religious Freedom.

Since the refugee resettlement program began 40 years ago, the US has never taken in this few refugees. And while advocates say no White House has been stronger on religious freedom than this one, United Nations data shows when the US limits refugees, other countries follow its lead. 

Nathan Bult is the senior vice president of Public and Government Affairs at Bethany Christian Services, an organization that works directly with refugees.

"Christ is very clear, especially in his parable about the Good Samaritan about what the obligations of his followers are and it's to welcome the stranger, to welcome a neighbor," Bult told CBN News. 

The United States is no longer the leading harbor for refugees. In 2018, Canada took in 28,000, while only 22,000 refugees came into the US.  

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