At the onset of the Syrian civil war, about 87 percent of the population was Muslim and about 10 percent was Christian.
But while the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. more than doubled from April to May—it increased 130 percent—the percentage of Christians who have been brought in is shockingly low. According to data released by the State Department's Refugee Processing Center first reported by CNS News, there were 1,069 Syrian refugees admitted, but only two were Christians.
That's 0.19 percent.
Watchdogs following the inflow of Syrian refugees have reported roughly 2,100 have been admitted so far this year. Only six of them were Christians.
That's 0.29 percent.
Since the conflict began in 2011, there have been less than 60 Syrian Christians admitted to the U.S. as refugees. During a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing last week, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R.-N.J.) expressed his frustration over the abysmally low numbers.
"They (Christians in Iraq and Syria) can't even get into a [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] or [Internally Displaced Persons] camp or a refugee camp, are unwanted, they're at risk," he said. "A news report showed or indicated that of the 499 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States (at that point) in May, not one—and I repeat and say again—not one was listed as being Christian or as explicitly coming from any of the groups targeted for genocide.
"For me that has got to change. I mean that is unconscionable, it's not like we haven't been raising this for, in my case three years, in the cases of so many others, three years. And we've had hearing after hearing. We've got the designation. Why aren't Christians being focused upon?"
Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson answered that question, in part, with firsthand information from the camps themselves. Those who face persecution and genocide must often avoid official refugee camps because they are targeted for violence there by Islamists, he said.
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