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Guest by post by Bob Unruh 

Resettlement of those persecuted for faith down by huge margin

The Biden administration’s claims that America’s southern border is closed – even as its policies allow millions of illegal aliens flood in – has become one of his greatest misleading statements.

But there is one segment of society that is feeling the full brunt of border security: persecuted Christians.

A report at Decision Magazine documents that the U.S., with Joe Biden now in the White House, has cut the resettlement of Christians fleeing persecution around the globe by 70% – compared to 2016.

“Open Doors, which annually ranks the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian, and World Relief, a global Christian humanitarian organization, issued a joint report in September that in 2022 the U.S. government resettled barely one-third of the number of Christian refugees who were granted asylum in 2016,” Decision’s report said.

In fact, in 2022, Christians resettled from the most threatening 50 nations for Christian persecution were down 70% from six years earlier. The actual numbers of Christians resettled was 9,528, down from 32,248 in 2016.

Decision Magazine explained, “For example, the number of Christian refugees resettled in 2022 compared to 2016 from Eritrea (#4 on the 2023 World Watch List) was down 85%, Iran (#8) down 95%, Myanmar/Burma (#14) down 92%, and Iraq (#18) down 94%. Just 1,044 Christian refugees from those four countries were resettled last year, compared to 12,883 in 2016.”

The documentation shows that in April 2021, just after Biden took office, his appointees limited the refugee resettlement ceiling to just 15,000 for the year – an historic low.

That number “fail[ed] to reflect that unprecedented numbers of individuals worldwide are forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution, including based on their religion or belief,” warned Gayle Manchin, the chief of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Former co-chair Tony Perkins said “to stand by our nation’s commitment to religious freedom, the United States should be a safe haven for persecuted religious communities.”

The Biden administration did adjust the resettlement limit upward later, “but the U.S. still failed to even reach the initial ceiling of 15,000 by the end of the year,” Decision Magazine reported.

Before 2017, the average resettlement was about 81,000 per year.

The report also reveals this year Biden’s Department of Homeland Security adopted a new rule that mostly restricts eligibility for asylum for those who enter the U.S. other than at a lawful port of entry. And Biden’s new process for requesting asylum appointments at ports of entry doesn’t have openings enough for those who are requesting that status.

“Today, most Christians in the U.S. recognize the great blessing it is to live in a country with strong protections for religious liberty— where, though in some settings we may be mocked or disliked, very few of us live in fear of losing our lives or being forced to flee our homes because of our faith in Jesus,” said Matt Soerens, of World Relief.

“We rightly take pride in our country’s long legacy of offering refuge to those persecuted for their faith in other parts of the world. However, as this updated report shows, that legacy—and the well-being of tens of thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ—could be at risk unless we as a nation recommit ourselves to a robust refugee resettlement program and to due process for those seeking asylum.

“And as Americans exercise another vital freedom, to elect our president and other leaders of our nation, I pray that candidates of all backgrounds will stand for religious freedom by supporting robust refugee resettlement and asylum policies.”

The report charged, “As this report demonstrates with both statistics and individual stories, followers of Jesus are often among those most at risk of persecution in countries that deny the religious freedom that we believe is a God-given right of each human being. We cannot profess to care for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ if we are unwilling to do what we can to address their physical needs for safety.”

It warned, “Globally, more than 360 million Christians face high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith. When individuals facing violence and pressure at home determine it is no longer safe to remain, some make the difficult decision to migrate, which is often the result of religious persecution in conjunction with other migratory pressures — hoping and praying to find a safe country that will welcome them.”

The report said in the U.S., “recent shifts in U.S. policy reveal that America is no longer the safe haven for displaced persons that it once was.”

The report continued, “In its 2023 World Watch List, a research-based overview of religious freedom conditions for Christians worldwide, Open Doors identified several current global trends that contribute to Christian persecution. Chief among them is the power of anti-Christian governments to arrest and execute Christians for practicing their faith. This past year alone, at least 5,621 Christians were killed for their faith, while many others were arrested and imprisoned. But hostility toward Christians doesn’t always come directly from the government.

“Social pressures, cultural norms and religious antipathies can also contribute to persecution. Tragically, these religious antipathies often find expression in violence against Christians. This kind of violence from militant religious factions is increasingly common across many areas of the globe, but especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast and South Asia, where governments struggle to control extremist groups such as Boko Haram and other ISIS-affiliated clans. In Afghanistan, the Taliban, which returned to power in 2021, targets religious minorities. In Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Syria, longstanding conflict has led to the near-extinction of historic Christian communities that have existed since the days of the early Church. Wherever religious extremists can operate unchecked, many Christians fear for their lives and their livelihoods.”

The report said, “The tragic reality is that many areas of the world simply aren’t safe for Christians, and Christians fleeing persecution need a safe haven in the United States. With religious persecution of Christians at some of the highest levels ever reported, closing the door to refugees and asylum seekers threatens the lives of Christians—and American Christians must not remain silent.”

Copyright 2023 WND News Center

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