Muslim Ban? Tillerson's State Department STILL Discriminates Against Syrian Christian Refugees
Since President Trump's inauguration on January 20, the State Department under Rex Tillerson has admitted only 28 Syrian Christian refugees, representing only 1.4 percent of the total. About 10 percent of Syrians are Christian.
This continues a policy of open anti-Christian discrimination established by the Obama administration -- which Trump had promised to end.
The State Department's Refugee Processing Center shows that, of the Syrian refugees admitted during the Trump administration, 1,932 Muslims and only 37 non-Muslims have been admitted. I reported on several occasions here at PJ Media last year on the Obama administration's anti-Christian policy in the midst of the presidential election, when Trump's call for a moratorium on refugees from terrorist states was being hotly discussed.
Just days after his inauguration in an interview with David Brody of CBN News, President Trump decried the Obama administration's treatment of Syrian Christians:
DAVID BRODY: Persecuted Christians, we’ve talked about this, the refugees overseas. The refugee program, or the refugee changes you’re looking to make. As it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes.
DAVID BRODY: You do?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? 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.
The Obama administration's discriminatory policies were noted by a federal appeals court judge, who wrote in an opinion last year that the considerably low number of Christians being admitted by the State Department was a "perplexing discrepancy."
In that opinion, Seventh Circuit Judge Daniel Manion noted:
It is well‐documented that refugees to the United States are not representative of that war‐torn area of the world. Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one‐half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian [...]
To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.
Looking at the population figures of Syria before the war began in 2011 bears out the judge's concern. According to The Gulf/2000 Project at Columbia University, the religious breakdown of the Syrian population from 2008-2009 showed that 15.98 million were Sunnis (73 percent of the population) while 3.29 million were Shiites (14.7 percent of the population). Christians accounted for 2.04 million people, or 9.3 percent of the population, while other religions accounted for 590,000 people, or 2.7 percent of the population.