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What about the Syrian Christian refugees

What about the Syrian Christian refugees

Why are we not taking more of them?

The number of Syrian Christian refugees the United States has taken in is extremely small.

And yet this is a group that ought logically to be first in line because members face the most obvious danger and persecution—not only in Syria, but in several Arab or Muslim countries to which they might have fled. Syrian Christians would also have little chance of being terrorists.

We already have seen how little Obama has said or done about the plight of Christians in the Middle East today, both rhetorically and in terms of action.

So it’s no stretch to imagine that the lack of Syrian Christian refugees may be the result of a deliberate policy of this administration. However, at least some of the lack of Christians among the Middle Eastern refugees to the US is a reflection of the way the system works vis-a-vis the UN, which usually does the initial vetting for us—a system that, by the way, desperately needs changing:

The gross underrepresentation of the non-Muslim communities in the numbers of Syrian refugees into the U.S. is reflected year after year in the State Department’s public records. They show, for example, that while Syria’s largest non-Muslim group — Christians of the various Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions — constituted 10 percent of Syria’s population before the war, they are only 2.6 percent of the 2,003 Syrian refugees that the United States has accepted since then. Syria’s Christian population, which before the war numbered 2 million, has since 2011 been decimated in what Pope Francis described as religious “genocide.”…

Instead, minorities have difficulty getting to step one in the U.N. process. The religious terror that drove them from Syria blocks their registering. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is largely limited to collecting refugee applications and making resettlement referrals from its own camps and centers…In an e-mail to me, Knox Thames, the State Department’s new special adviser for religious minorities, wrote that “many minorities have not entered the UN system because they are urban refugees.” That is, because they live far from the remote U.N. camps and aid centers, they lack the information and access to register. And, as is widely known, many non-Muslim refugees try hard to avoid these camps…

According to British media, a terrorist defector asserted that militants enter U.N. camps to assassinate and kidnap Christians. An American Christian aid group reported that the U.N. camps are “dangerous” places where ISIS, militias, and gangs traffic in women and threaten men who refuse to swear allegiance to the caliphate. Such intimidation is also reportedly evident in migrant camps in Europe, leading the German police union to recommend separate shelters for Christian and Muslim migrant groups…

…[M]any Christian refugees will “not be included in the [U.N.] camp referrals” because they have had to leave the camps after “cruelties inflicted upon them” there.

So by relying mostly on the UN and its refugee camps to select the refugees they house and to funnel them to us, the US practically guarantees that very few Christians will be among them.

Unless the government changes that policy, and reaches out to seek Christian refugees from other sources, that will continue to be the case—which appears to suit President Obama just fine.

I’ve been trying to answer the question of exactly when it was that the United Nations and UN-run refugee camps became the main source of refugees to the US.

It hasn’t been easy to locate that information, but our modern policy towards refugees seems to rest on a bill that was passed during the Carter administration and sponsored by Ted Kennedy. The 1980 bill established the UN definition of “refugee” as our definition of the term, set up an office to be in charge of refugees to the US, and specified rules for treating them once they were in this country:

With [Ted Kennedy’s] proposal, he hoped to address the need for a reformed, non need-based policy that was not specifically designed for people from communist regimes in Eastern Europe or repressive governments in the Middle East, as it was in the past. At the time, there was an average of 200,000 refugees coming to the United States, most of which were Indochinese and Soviet Jews. Many Americans feared a floodgate scenario with a large and sudden increase of the refugee population, but the 50,000 cap would only account for 10% of immigration flow to the U.S. and would allow one refugee for every 4,000 Americans, small numbers compared to those of countries like Canada, France and Australia. The bill was adopted by the Senate by a unanimous vote…

That “floodgate” scenario seems to have come to pass in recent years, whatever the original projections of the bill’s designers. For example, the U.S. took in two-thirds of the refugees resettled all over the world in 2014.

As the incidence of terrorism has risen in Muslim countries, and support for it has grown, the refugee system that was designed in a different time no longer works in our best interests, cries of “xenophobia” notwithstanding.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]

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Comments

It stands to reason that atheists, agnostics, humanists and apostates from Islam should be favored over Christians in granting asylum, because they are the most likely to be persecuted in all Muslim lands, even those of our “allies.”

    Valerie in reply to Jimbino. | December 16, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    It is easier for atheists, agnostics, humanists and apostates to avoid attention: they don’t go to church.

    I do not understand this. Christians are being killed and driven out of these countries. They have a classic case for asylum.

      Yep. Freedom from religious persecution is one of the founding principles of our nation, and providing that refuge is a classic case for asylum, as you say.

      Unfortunately, according to this Administration, Syrian Christians are the “wrong” religion, so they need not apply; their persecution is entirely valid in Obama’s eyes.

My opinion:

This regime hates Christians, and anything that represents Western values. Their policies and ideology all reflect this, IMHO.

Also, there is a PC problem that runs counter to our refugee laws: if you let in persecuted Christians, then the PC line is you’re “favoring one religion over another.”

I can link to sources and articles to support my opinion, if needed……

    if you let in persecuted Christians, then the PC line is you’re “favoring one religion over another.”

    As opposed to our school districts, who allow prayer times for Muslim students, and provide them quiet rooms, but suspend or expel any Christian who dares utter a prayer blessing over their lunch?

    It’s not about “favoring one religion over another”. It’s about “favoring the ‘right’ religion over another”.

      Milhouse in reply to Archer. | December 17, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      As opposed to our school districts, who allow prayer times for Muslim students, and provide them quiet rooms, but suspend or expel any Christian who dares utter a prayer blessing over their lunch?

      Bulldust. I dare you to name one school that has done both those things. Christian students are free to pray over their lunch at all schools, so long as they do it individually, of their own accord, and don’t impose it on anyone else. One occasionally hears stories about schools where authorities are ignorant of this right, and prevent all students from praying until they get hit with a lawsuit; there are no schools at which Moslems are allowed to pray but Christians are not. And for every school where student prayer is illegally forbidden, there are two schools where teachers illegally try to promote Christian prayer, which is at least as bad.

Char Char Binks | December 16, 2015 at 10:11 am

Let the Christians and Yazidis in, and the Zoroastrians too, if there are any, and any other non-Muslims. The Muslims can go to Saudi Arabia, or any other Muslim country, as far as I care.

“It’s time to all but end our ties to the UN.”

Chapter 9,875,563.

Because they’re from Syria and because Islamic terrorists will lie and tell you they are Christian.

    Char Char Binks in reply to [email protected]. | December 16, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Syrian refugees are coming here anyway, and we’re told they’ll be vetted, so let’s make sure they’re as fully vetted as possible. And we really should be saving those truly at risk, and that mostly means the Christians and Yazidis. There are some Muslim refugees who are truly in need, but they can go to any of about 20 other Muslim countries if they want and are wanted there (which cuts their choices to near zero, but that’s not our problem).

    That’s simple: Ask them to say that Mohammed was not a prophet.

Simple — Obama and the cultural Marxists saturating our government don’t want more Christians (don’t want Christians at all). They want Muslims with greater potential for anti-American agitation and near-certain dependency on government as franchise democrat voters. Win-win.

Why are we not taking in more? Persecuted Christians who come to the US and become citizens are less likely to become reliable Democrat votes. Case closed.

There was a time when I could not even imagine that such a thing could be true, but under Obama it is entirely plausible.

Can’t be a refugee if they get killed before they get to leave. The longer this administration does nothing, the more dead Christians there will be.

With [Ted Kennedy’s] proposal, he hoped to address the need for a reformed, non need-based policy that was not specifically designed for people from communist regimes in Eastern Europe or repressive governments in the Middle East….

I read that, and I hear, “one-size-fits-all solution”.

What have we learned about Democrats and their “one-size-fits-all solutions”, boys and girls?

Russia will end the refugee crisis. Assad will keep the peace. Despite Obama and social justice activists’ efforts, Syrians, Christians, Muslims, etc., may yet be able to keep their lives and homes too.

Glad to see someone follow up on this whole thing. I was pretty floored when I hunted down the details for my own knowledge a few weeks ago.

I should note that the two-thirds of refugees settled in 2014 should really be “refugees” in quotes because that’s just the ones officially designated by UN camps for purposes of resettlement. There are, of course, vastly more refugees, both fake and genuine, than such figures suggest.

Because he stands with the Muslims and hates genuine Christians?

To islamicize a country, you need to import Muslims. Obama hates Jews and Christians.

    Char Char Binks in reply to Juba Doobai!. | December 16, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I don’t think Obama hates Jews and Christians, I just think he’s “Progressive” enough to let Muslims Islamicize this country, as you say.

Have an Orthodox priest question the refugees. He’ll know within minutes whether they are Christians or not.

Our sister diocese in Bosra-Haraan (sp?) is pretty much reduced to the cathedral building. All the outlying villages have depopulated, and most of what is left of the diocese is now sheltering there.

Assad is an evil man as was his father, but Obama has done more harm to the Syrian people than both the father and son together. The Assad’s kept a lid on on the Sunni’s, and protected the minority religions in Syria.

And no, I’m not Arabic, but I’ve been around Arabic Orthodox Christians most of my life. Good people, my people. And I hate to see them treated so.

David R. Graham | December 25, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Do you hear any churches pleading for the lives and liberties of Syrian Christians?

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