ICC Note: As more attention has been given to the refugee situation in Syria, questions are being raised about why Christians are underrepresented among those who have been resettled. A number of explanations have been given, but none seem to clearly explain why so few Christians – a group explicitly targeted – have been reached.
12/02/2015 Middle East (CNS News) – The emphasis of the United States’ refugee admission program is on helping “the most vulnerable,” and “many” of those currently being helped are members of religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, a State Department spokesperson said Tuesday.
The official was responding on background to questions about the relatively small proportion of Christians among the refugees from war-torn Syria admitted into the U.S. – 1.1 percent so far in fiscal year 2016, and 2.3 percent over the period since the conflict began in March 2011. (The CIA World Factbook says that 10 percent of the Syrian population is Christian.)
“The United States is committed to assisting people of all ethnicities, religions and nationalities who are fleeing persecution, violence, and other drivers of displacement,” the spokesperson said.
“The emphasis of our refugee admissions program is on helping the most vulnerable. Many of those we are currently assisting are Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities from Iraq and Syria.”