ICC Note: Alabama Congressman, Rep. Robert Aderholt, has requested the immediate and targeted humanitarian aid to Middle East minorities, namely Christians. Aderholt has done this through securing language in the 2017 State and Foreign Operations Bill aimed at war-torn and ISIS controlled areas of Syria and Iraq. While the language does not imply the resettlement of Christians in the US, it does take progressive steps towards protecting these asylum seekers.
07/19/2016 USA (Anniston Star): An Alabama Congressman has asked for help for Christians and other religious minorities fleeing wars in Syria and Iraq, but he’s not asking that they be brought to the United States, according to his staff.
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, in a press release Tuesday, said he secured language in the 2017 State and Foreign Operations Bill that would provide “targeted humanitarian assistance to Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities who are attempting to flee the war-torn and ISIS controlled areas of Syria and Iraq.”
Aderholt’s additions to the bill would provide secure locations where vulnerable and persecuted religious minorities can safely register for refugee resettlement assistance, although the added language does not state any specific minority, Christian or otherwise.
“Most of us have seen the images of the thousands of people who are fleeing the Syrian Civil War and escaping from the deadly reach of ISIS,” Aderholt said in the release. “ While most of the attention has been focused on those of the Muslim faith, Christians and other groups are actually at the top of ISIS’ ‘hit list’ in that region and need protection.”
About 10 percent of Syria’s population is Christian, according to the CIA’s World Factbook. Sunni Muslims are the largest faith group, with Shiites and other minority Islamic sects making up 13 percent of the population. Iraq’s people are 60 to 65 percent Sunni, 32 to 37 percent Shia, with Christians and other faiths each making up less than 1 percent of the population, according to the Factbook.