CIA: Syria 10% Christian; Congress: Targeted for Genocide; State: 99% of Refugees Muslim; Kaine: Trump’s Refugee Policy Biased in Favor of Christians

Terence P. Jeffrey | February 1, 2017 | 11:01am EST
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(Screen Capture from video by In Defense of Christians)

( - Although the CIA World Factbook says Christians make up 10 percent of the population of Syria and both houses of Congress have unanimously passed resolutions declaring that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians there, the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States have been approximately 99% Muslim and 0.9% Christian, according to data published by the U.S. State Department.

And this week, Sen. Tim Kaine, the former Democratic vice presidential candidate, accused President Donald Trump of trying to change the U.S. refugee policy to make it biased in favor of Christians.

On Sept. 9, 2015, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R.-Neb.) introduced a resolution declaring that the Islamic State was committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. The House unanimously approved the resolution on March 14, 2016.

The Senate unanimously approved a similar resolution on July 7, 2016.

(Screen capture from the Congressional Record of July 7, 2016.)

The unanimous congressional resolutions said: “[T]he atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.”

According to the CIA World Factbook, the Syrian population is 87 percent Muslim, 10 percent Christian, and 3 percent Druze. The Factbook says there are also a “few” Jews “remaining in Damascus and Aleppo.”

Since Rep. Fortenberry introduced his unanimously passed resolution declaring that the Islamic State was committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Syria, the U.S. has admitted 17,790 Syrian refugees, according to the State Department.

Of these 17,790 refugees, 17,576 (or 98.8 percent) have been Muslim and 156 (or 0.88 percent) have been Christian.

The 17,576 Syrian Muslim refugees include 17,357 Sunni Muslims, 182 who are identified only as Muslims, and 37 Shiite Muslims.

The Islamic State claims to be a Sunni Muslim caliphate.

The 156 targeted-for-genocide Syrian Christians who have been allowed to enter the United States as refugees since Fortenberry introduced his resolution include 74 identified by the State Department simply as “Christian,” 36 identified as Catholics, 36 identified as Orthodox, 5 identified as Protestant, 4 identified as Jehovah Witnesses, and 1 Greek Orthodox.

The refugees also include 8 identified as belonging to an “other religion,” 3 Druze, and 1 person of no religion.

President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on Friday, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.”

The Executive Order includes a provision calling on the secretary of State to prioritize the refugee claims of persecuted religious minorities. It does not single out any specific nation of origin or religious sect for the persecuted religious minorities whom the administration would prioritize in granting refugee admission to the United States.

It says:

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in last year’s election, condemned this element of President Trump’s executive order as a “religious test” that is biased in favor of Christians living in Muslim-majority countries.

Kaine said:

"This is a religious test pure and simple. Singling out these countries that are Muslim-majority countries and then saying an exception would be created for people coming from these countries if they are parts of religious minorities--President Trump specifically said Christians--this is a religious test of exactly the kind that President Trump said he would do when he was a candidate.”

Kaine said of Trump’s Executive Order: “It was sprung with very, very little thought about consequence. The reports coming out suggest that it was drafted up by political hacks in the White House with very little effort to share it with professionals who understand our immigration system, who understand our border issues.”

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