Just 23 Iranian and Iraqis Refugees Have Come to America This Year

Several years ago, the Obama administration set a target of resettling more than 110,000 refugees for resettlement in fiscal year 2017, the highest goal since 1995. This week, the Trump administration set the ceiling on the number of refugees that can be resettled in the United States next year at 30,000. Even as the number of refugees allowed in America has dropped since Trump took office, the State Department has named international religious freedom as one of its primary goals. To some extent, these two policies work against each other, says Jenny Yang, who provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief. “The countries from which Christians are most persecuted are those that there are the most refugees from,” said Yang. Only 18 and 5 refugees from Iraq and Iran respectively—countries where many Christians have been persecuted in recent years—have been resettled in the US since the beginning of the year. “You have a lot of persecuted Christians who are refugees and become refugees because of their faith,” said Yang. Yang joined associate digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the US government’s rationale for the decline in numbers, what’s happening at a global level to solve the refugee crisis, and what Christians who care about refugees can do regardless of whether the communities settle in their countries.

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