***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
June 26, 2018
World Relief Laments SCOTUS Decision to Uphold Travel Ban
Washington, DC – This morning, the Supreme Court announced a decision on the most recent version of President Trump’s executive order restricting travel from individuals from seven particular countries, five of which are Muslim-majority countries. In a 5-4, decision, the court allows the travel restrictions for these particular countries to remain in effect.
“While we respect the authority of the Supreme Court on these matters, we also believe it is vital that we, as a nation, affirm our core commitment to religious liberty for all people. Though the court may have found these restrictions to be lawful, that does not necessarily mean they are right or just,” said World Relief President Scott Arbeiter. “A person’s religious tradition should not disqualify them, explicitly or implicitly, from being considered for a visa to enter the United States. While we do not profess to fully know the administration’s motivation for issuing this order, given the president’s campaign statements about restricting Muslims from entering the United States, it is not unreasonable that many would presume that is the intention of this policy.”
“We want to convey as clearly as possible to our Muslim neighbors that we love and respect them,” added Arbeiter. “There are millions of U.S. citizens of the Muslim faith, and they are every bit as American as we are who are Christians. Those who are not yet citizens, who have arrived as refugees or other immigrants in recent years and are still on that path toward citizenship, are members of our community whom we value and by whose friendship we have been blessed. As Christians, we believe that each of them is a neighbor whom God has called us to love—and as an organization, we’ll continue to do so in every way that we can.”
Since 1979, World Relief has resettled approximately 300,000 refugees from various countries of origin and religious traditions. While only a minority of the refugees resettled to the U.S. in the past decade have been of the Muslim faith, the number of Muslims admitted through the U.S. refugee resettlement program has declined starkly. Based on arrivals thus far in 2018, the number of Muslim refugees admitted this year will likely be down more than 90 percent since 2016.
“While we continue to lament the impact of declining refugee resettlement programs on persecuted Christians, who have been allowed to be resettled as refugees in significantly reduced numbers over the past couple years, we likewise stand with Muslim refugees and those of other faiths or no faith, each of whom we believe is made in God’s image,” said World Relief CEO Tim Breene. “As we’ve said before, we believe it is a false choice to choose between compassion and security. We can and should do both, as our nation has for decades.”
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.