WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday for “extreme vetting” of refugees from certain foreign countries under the scope of the terror watch list, but told Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody that persecuted Christians overseas would be given priority for entry into the United States when it comes to the country’s refugee program.
“Persecuted Christians, we’ve talked about this, the refugees overseas. The refugee program, or the refugee changes you’re looking to make. As it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?” Brody asked.
“Yes,” Trump replied. “They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”
Of the almost 85,000 refugees allowed into the U.S. in 2016, 38,901 were Muslims and 37,521 were Christians, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. Pew also says around 99 percent of Syrian refugees given entry to the U.S. were Muslim, while less than 1 percent were Christian.