Their plight involves a nightmarish catch-22. When Christians flee as refugees they cannot go to UN-run refugee camps because there they face the same persecution and terror from which they fled. If they are not in the refugee camps they are not included in the application process for asylum. The U.S. State Department knows this, but continues to allow the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to select refugees for asylum with no regard to the endangered Christians and other religious minorities.
They are from some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, from lands where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah walked, and where Jonah called the people of Ninevah to repentance. But today these Christians have been targeted for death, sexual slavery, displacement, cultural eradication and forced conversion by ISIS. The U.S. government’s response has been woefully inadequate — neither helping them defend themselves and stay, nor providing them asylum to leave. And now, to add insult to injury, they are casualties of the agencies contracted to resettle refugees in America.
Many of these persecuted Christians understandably hope to escape to the United States where there are already sizeable Iraqi and Syrian Christian communities. But they have been largely excluded, with the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) even admitting outright to officials at The Barnabas Fund, a Christian relief agency, “There is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation.”
There’s also this: According to official data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center for Fiscal Year 2015, resettled Syrian refugees were 97% Muslim. The Hudson Institute’s Nina Shea, in a November 2 article inNational Review, showed that in the past five years only 53 of 2003 Syrian refugees accepted by the United States have been Christians (only about 2.5% of the total). But about 10% of Syrians are Christians, so why are so few of these refugees Christians, particularly given that they are among the most persecuted of groups in Syria?
Their plight involves a nightmarish catch-22. When Christians flee as refugees they cannot go to UN-run refugee camps because there they face the same persecution and terror from which they fled. If they are not in the refugee camps they are not included in the application process for asylum. The U.S. State Department knows this, but continues to allow the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to select refugees for asylum with no regard to the endangered Christians and other religious minorities. According tostatements in the Sunday Express from an ISIS defector and aid workers in the UN camps, ISIS is sending teams of trained assassins disguised as refugees to kidnap and kill Christians.
And we’ve just learned that the State Department is poised to rule that Yazidis but not Christians are likely to be designated as victims of genocide in Iraq.
The blame is not just with the United Nations and the Obama administration. U.S. organizations who resettle refuges are also to blame. This includes Christian groups that resist any focus on Christian victims of ISIS, and oppose actions by Congress to welcome not just economic migrants but also Christians and other religious minorities victimized by ISIS.
Since 2014, ISIS and its jihadist partners have waged a genocidal jihad against the Christians of the region. “We now face the extinction of Christianity as a religion and as a culture from Mesopotamia,” declares Archbishop Warda.
The homes of Christians are being marked with the Arabic letter “n” (ن) to identify them as followers of Jesus, the Nazarene. While in the West Christians express Christian solidarity through rubber bracelets and pins marked with ن on our clothes, and with stickers on our cars, their jewelry, clothing and cars are being confiscated. They faced the prospect of death, conversion or dhimmitude (living as “conquered people” and paying the jizya —basically protection money).
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