UK Takes Almost No Christian Refugees Fleeing ISIS

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A Syrian refugee family is welcomed to Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland
A Syrian refugee family is welcomed to Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Despite the fact that the UK pledged to “prioritize the most vulnerable refugees,” less than one percent of Christians have been granted asylum in the country compared to the number of Sunni Muslims, reported the Express.

Figures obtained by the Barnabas Fund, an organization that helps persecuted Christians, showed that 8,136 Sunni Muslims were given refuge in the UK, compared with 70 Christians. In addition, just 22 Yazidis and 33 Shiite Muslims were taken in.

“In 2005 the UN adopted the responsibility of states to protect citizens from genocide and crimes against humanity. These statistics show that it has failed miserably in this. Christians and other minorities have been treated shamefully by the UN. And the UK has outsourced its own responsibilities in spite of repeated representations,” commented Martin Parsons of the Barnabas Fund.

The situation for Christians, the most persecuted groups by ISIS in the Middle East, wanting to enter the U.S. is similar. In 2016, 99 percent of the nearly 12,600 refugees from Syria who were allowed to enter the U.S. were Muslim. Less than one percent were Christians, who make up 10 percent of Syria’s population.

Late last week, U.S. President Donald Trump directed the State Department to pull funding from “ineffective” programs run by the United Nations to help persecuted and displaced religious minority communities in the Middle East and use the money instead to fund programs run directly by the U.S., faith-based groups and private organizations.

“The move is being made to help persecuted Christian and minority groups in the region who have been devastated by Islamic State (ISIS),” said Vice President Mike Pence who announced the change.

“If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair — everybody was persecuted, in all fairness — but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them, ” said Trump, speaking to the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Watch the trailer of Clarion Project’s latest film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region.  To host a screening of the film, click here



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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org