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ICC Note: President Trump’s promise to prioritize Christian refugees fleeing persecution has faced vast criticism from Christian leaders in the Middle East. Not only does it go against Christian ethic of welcoming strangers but it also fuels tensions between the Christian minority and their Muslim counterparts.

01/31/2017 Iraq (NPR): President Trump is promising to give priority to Christians fleeing persecution — yet some of the strongest criticism of his executive order is coming from Christian leaders themselves.

Some say the temporary ban on admitting refugees challenges the Christian ethic of welcoming the stranger. Others worry that favoring Christians over other immigrants could actually backfire.

Among the Christian groups criticizing President Trump’s executive order are some who have been generally friendly to him. Eight evangelical leaders, including Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, who prayed at his inauguration, sent Trump a letter Sunday asking him to reconsider his suspension of refugee resettlement.

Another clergyman who prayed at Trump’s inauguration, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, told reporters Sunday that the executive order “at first blush causes us some apprehension.”

“But we’re looking forward to studying it, and we look forward to hearing the experts who work for us in the next couple of days to say, ‘Here’s what it says. Here’s the trouble it’s going to cause, and here’s what we need to do about it,’ ” he said.

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