Despite the White House’s commitment to religious liberty, the number of Christian refugees the U.S. is allowing into the country has reportedly dropped by a staggering 43 percent.
The sharp policy change — a diversion from the previous administration’s more open approach to refugees — has resulted in a decline of nearly 11,000 Christians being allowed to enter the U.S., according to NBC News.
“Ironically, these policies, while clearly aimed at Muslim refugees, ensure that Christians and other religious minorities from many of the countries on Trump’s list of suspect travel ban nations are also kept out,” Mary Giovagnoli, director of Refugee Council USA, told NBC. “It suggests that the president has no real interest in religious persecution or the tenets of religious freedom.”
President Donald Trump’s administation, it should be noted, has rejected the suggestion that persecuted Christians are not gaining entry into the country. An unnamed official told NBC that the White House has made helping persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East “a top priority.”
Several faith-based organizations, including World Relief, have been very critical of Trump’s approach to immigration reform, particularly when it comes to refugee replacement.
Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, told TheBlaze in 2017 that Trump’s moratorium on the country’s refugee admissions program would “limit our ability to fulfill” Jesus’ mandate to “care for the least of these,” a reference to Matthew 25:40.
In September 2017, Trump slashed former President Barack Obama’s refugee resettlement cap of 110,000 to 45,000, the lowest number requested by a president in more than three decades. But according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. will actually be much lower.
The IRC said in January that the U.S. will only accept 21,292 refugees in fiscal year 2018.