As of this year, nearly 6 million Syrians have been forced to leave their homes because of a horrific and ongoing civil war. Millions more are displaced within the country.
Earlier this month, at least 40 people were killed in the town of Douma in what the U.S. believes was a chemical weapons attack. The danger is still a reality every day. The conflict in the region has been a major contributing factor in the world’s worst refugee crisis since WWII. Though nations around the world have been accepting these desperate communities for years, the United States—with its unmatched resources, size and wealth—is uniquely poised to help.
However, this year, the country has taken in just 11 Syrian refugees. By comparison, in 2016, the final year of President Obama’s presidency, the U.S. accepted 15,479 refugees from Syria. Meanwhile, millions wait in overcrowded refugee camp, for some chance of a better life.
This is a national disgrace and should deeply grieve the American Church.
Wow. We are the wealthiest nation in all of human history. We are also a nation with access to information about the atrocities happening two people not unlike us in #Syria. How can it be that we have taken in only 11 Syrian refugees this year? https://t.co/2wqM0kWedt
— Carmen LaBerge (@carmenlaberge) April 16, 2018
If you follow President Trump on Twitter, you will see him constantly cite stats and figures that purport to show how strong the American economy is. His message is constantly that the stock market is reaching new highs, the economy is growing and that there are plenty of jobs. In other words, there is literally no excuse to abandon those who need our help the most.
The Bible is extremely clearly about not only caring for the “least of these” among our neighbors, but also caring for immigrants, refugees and foreigners. We are commanded to help.
Many of those who oppose refugee resettlement purposefully misrepresent the process and attempt to use fear to deter the U.S. from taking a position that isn’t simply compassionate, but also rational.
As we previously reported, “Most refugees who come to the U.S. are here to be reunited or connected with family members already in the U.S.” “In the last 30 years, not a single American has been killed by a refugee in America. Not one” and the vetting process is already “extreme,” with “multiple international and federal agencies involved.”
These are the facts we must remember when we vote and express our opinions to elected officials.
But most importantly, let’s not forget these words from Ezekiel: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
Now, ask yourself, who does that sound like today?
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.