Just 54 of 11,491 Syrian refugees admitted to U.S. in 2016 are Christians

by WorldTribune Staff, September 13, 2016

The Obama administration has allowed 11,491 Syrian refugees to enter the United States this year. Of those, only 54 are Christians, despite the fact that Christian communities in Syria have been a primary target of reported violence.

When the conflict began, an estimated 74 percent of Syrians were Sunni and an estimated 10 percent were Christians. The U.S. has admitted a total of 13,364 Syrian refugees, of whom 13,019 (97.4 percent) are Sunnis and 102 (0.7 percent) are Christians.

The U.S. has admitted a total of 13,364 Syrian refugees since the conflict began.
The U.S. has admitted a total of 13,364 Syrian refugees since the conflict began.

Under the 1951 Refugee Convention, persecution on the grounds of religion is one of five criteria for determining whether an applicant should be granted refugee status (the others relate to race, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.)

The Obama administration has confirmed that atrocities against Christians, Yazidis, Shi’a and other minorities in areas under the control of Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) amount to genocide.

Despite heavy criticism and calls to increase the numbers of Christians and other minorities from Syria being welcomed into the U.S., President Barack Obama and his team have insisted the U.S. will not impose a “religious test” on applicants.

The Obama administration has already exceeded its Syrian refugee admission target for 2016 by 15 percent, CNSNews.com reported, adding that August ended with a new monthly record of 3,189 Syrian refugee arrivals.

Thus far in September, 751 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the U.S. – 749 Sunni Muslims and two Catholic Christians.

According to State Department Refugee Processing Center data, 98.33 percent of the 11,491 arrivals this fiscal year are Sunnis while a mere 0.46 percent identify as Christians.

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