World

Several Western Countries Give Preference To Christian Refugees

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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President Donald Trump’s plan to give “priority” to Christian refugees from the Middle East has been met with harsh criticism around the world, but many countries share the same preference.

Trump said Christians will get priority for refugee status in the U.S. in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network set to air Sunday. (RELATED: Trump: Syrian Christians Will Be Given ‘Priority’ For Refugee Status)

The Australian government expressed similar views when the refugee crisis broke out in 2015. Then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced 12,000 “women, children and families from persecuted minorities” would be admitted. Several ministers openly said Syrian Christians and Yazidis were in greater need of protection from the ongoing war.

“They are a minority, they survived in Syria, they’ve been there for thousands of years, literally since the time of Christ,” Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who now serves as prime minister, said at the time.

Slovakia and Cyprus were the first two European Union states to declare their bias for Syrian Christians, despite EU law prohibiting cherry picking.

“We could take 800 Muslims but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?” Slovakian interior ministry spokesman Ivan Netik told BBC in September 2015.

Hundreds of muslim refugees in Germany converted to Christianity during 2016. In some cases, it was purely a way to extend their stay in the country. (RELATED: Hundreds Of Muslim Refugees In Germany Convert To Christianity)

Albert Babajan, a pastor in Hamburg, carried out several mass baptisms for people who were “disappointed with Islam.”

Muslim converts to Christianity could face death sentences if they are deported back to their home countries, which makes deportations harder to justify for German authorities.

“If I have the impression that someone doesn’t believe it from the heart, then I won’t baptize him,” Babajan told newspaper Stern.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) —  a sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union — recently demanded priority for migrants of a Christian cultural background.

“In the future, priority must be given to immigrants from our Western, Christian culture,” CSU said in an internal policy paper last September. “Such a law would be a clear rejection of illegal migration.”

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