Rev. Franklin Graham. (BGEA)
Commenting on criticism from liberals and many Democrats about President Donald J. Trump's executive order on immigration to better screen for terrorists, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said people coming to the United States must accept our "principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty," or they should not come here. He also stressed that Islamic Sharia law "is not compatible" with American beliefs or culture.
In a Feb. 1 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham said, "I think that a thorough vetting process really needs to apply to people coming into the U.S. from all countries—not just 7. We have to be sure that the philosophies of those entering our country are compatible with our Constitution."
"If a person does not agree with our principles of freedom, democracy, and liberty, which we cherish, they should not be allowed to come," he said. "Without question, Sharia law is not compatible."
Sharia is the Islamic law -- rules and practices -- that faithful Muslims are required to follow in their daily lives.
"There have been a lot of protests and discussion about President Donald J. Trump’s executive action on immigration," said Rev. Graham in his post. "Some people seem to have forgotten that the priority of the president of the United States is protecting the Constitution and the safety of Americans. That’s exactly what President Trump is trying to do."
(Photo: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, BGEA)
"Taking action to secure our borders had to start somewhere," he said. "Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is a first step. As they work on solutions during this 90-day travel ban, unfortunately there are some innocent families caught in this time of transition."
As for some Christians who are critical of Trump's order, Rev. Graham said he believes the best way to help the suffering is to provide relief and ongoing assistance "in their own countries." and if that is not possible, then to help them in safe zones near their homeland.
"Some are also criticizing Christians who support the president’s position on immigration—and I’m one of those being criticized," said Rev. Graham. "But we have to realize that the president’s job is not the same as the job of the church."
"As Christians we are clearly taught in the Bible to care for the poor and oppressed," he said. "At Samaritan's Purse we have been working in the Middle East for over 30 years. We’ve provided things like food, heaters, blankets, coats, shelter plastic, and more for tens of thousands of refugees there and in other places around the world. We just opened a 55-bed field trauma hospital in northern Iraq where we’re treating Muslims who are being wounded by other Muslims in the fight over Mosul."
"As Christians we are commanded to help all, regardless of religious background or ethnicity, like the Good Samaritan Jesus shared about in the Bible," said Graham. "Our job is to show God’s love and compassion. I believe the best way to help is to reach out and help these people in their own countries."
"I support the establishment of safe zones inside Syria and Iraq that would be protected by the international community until a political solution is found," he said. "We need to pray for political solutions that would bring peace and allow them to return to their homes as they desire."