***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
August 8, 2018
Baltimore, Md. – August 8, 2018 – Today, World Relief signed a letter penned by the leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table urging the Trump administration to restore the refugee ceiling to 75,000. The global refugee population is over 25 million people, and the U.S. is ready and able to receive more individuals and families seeking refuges from violence and persecution in their countries of origin.
Scott Arbeiter, president of World Relief, commented: "The United States has for many years been a beacon of hope to persecuted people around the world. We have also been an example to many other nations who have followed our lead to welcome those persecuted for their faith. We have nearly abandoned this place of moral leadership (with admittance of persecuted Christians from particular countries down 98%). We urge our leaders to return to our national heritage of welcome to persecuted people of all faiths (or none at all). Compassion and security are not mutually exclusive."
Sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, the letter was signed by Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Convention, National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson, Shirley Hoogstra of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities and various other national evangelical leaders. The letter particularly highlights the effect of a dramatic reduction in refugee admissions on persecuted Christians and on other religious minorities. In the past decade, the plurality of refugees resettled to the U.S. have been Christians, many of whom have faced horrific persecution on account of their faith in countries such as Iraq, Iran and Burma. For example, compared to the first half of 2016, the number of Christian refugees admitted to the U.S. from the Middle East from January through June 2018 is down by more than 98 percent.
The Evangelical Immigration Table’s letter, coming shortly after the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in which several of the Table’s leaders participated, commends the administration’s commitment to upholding religious liberty, but notes that such a commitment is inconstant with a dramatic reduction in the admission of refugees who have been persecuted by governments that have severely restricted their religious freedom.
World Relief calls on Americans of all or no faiths to raise their voices to advocate for the vulnerable in their communities and regain the American identity that embraces the stranger and protects freedom for all. Reach out to the White House at (202) 456-1111 and call your Congressman at (202) 224-3121 and tell them you believe the U.S. should be a place of welcome for those who need protection. America is ready, willing and able to welcome 75,000 refugees.
World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding and has offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services. Learn more at worldrelief.org.