Evangelism and Missions

It’s OK for Christians to worry about refugees in U.S., religious freedom activist says

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Reuters – People gather to protest against the United States’ acceptance of Syrian refugees at the Washington State capitol in Olympia, Washington, on Nov. 20, 2015.

Are you a Christian who is worried about how the government is allowing refugees from Syria and other countries in the Middle East to resettle in the United States? A Christian religious freedom activist says it is perfectly fine to have concerns like this.

Faith McDonnell, the director of Religious Liberty Programs and the Church Alliance for a New Sudan at the Washington-based think tank Institute on Religion and Democracy, says Christians should not be afraid to register their concerns about plans by the U.S. State Department to allow more refugees in America, given the havoc being wreaked by some Muslim migrants in Europe.

McDonnell says the U.S. should have been more prepared to face the influx of refugees from Middle Eastern nations.

“Both Syrian and Iraqi Christians had been suffering for a long time, even before the Syrian war with [President Bashir al] Assad and everything started. We should have been prepared for that. If you are refugee resettlement people and you are seeing what is on the radar screen, if you had any thought in your mind at all that Christians are being persecuted because they are Christians, then they would have been on their radar screen already,” the religious freedom activist told The Christian Post on Monday.

McDonnell also sounded the alarm on how the U.S. government appears to be accommodating more and more Muslim refugees from terrorist hotspots in the Middle East, instead of Christian migrants. She cited data from the State Department Refugee Processing Center which showed that some 30,500 Muslim refugees have already been brought to the U.S., compared to the nearly 29,000 Christian migrants since Oct. 1, 2015.

In view of this, the religious freedom activist called on the U.S. government to take a second look at how it decides which Middle Eastern refugees will be allowed to resettle in America. Right now, the U.S. is relying on referrals from the United Nations, but many Christians stay away from U.N. camps due to fear of persecution from Muslim radicals.

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