Christian groups are divided over issues concerning refugee resettlement.
American Christians have grown increasingly fearful over the last 10 years. They have seen Christians in other countries being persecuted for their beliefs, especially in the Middle East. They feel the need for action by the U.S. administration rose with every Christian family being attacked in Iraq or priests being kidnapped in Syria. It is inevitable that Donald Trump capitalized on these fears during his campaign. He gave the electorate the bogey of Christians suffering at the hands of the Islamic State, terrorists who publicly beheaded people of a different faith. Trump said to the audience Christians in the Middle East are in an extremely precarious condition. He also told the U.S. voting public that Christians find it hard to get entry into the United States.
President Trump has kept his promise post elections. His executive order on January 27 offers preference to Christian or other minority communities in Middle Eastern countries, those who suffered persecution due to their religious preference.Christian clergy in the United States have exhibited mixed reactions on Trump’s immigration ban. The clergy in a number of pulpits reacted to the presidential signing of this executive order by invoking the refugee demographic. After Trump issued the order on January 27 prohibiting refugees from seven countries with a Muslim majority population, the clergy all over the United States canceled their earlier sermons and requested their parishioners to care for a stranger. There were calls for caution too. The latter came from a number of conservative churches, parishioners and pastors. They spoke about balancing security of the U.S. with welcoming strangers.
— CaroleJMcCoyArtist? (@cjthefineartist) January 29, 2017
Brad Whitt, a pastor of the 2,800 member congregation Abilene Baptist Church, said that they do not want Christians to stay away from the plight of refugees. The church is located in Martinez, Georgia. He holds the opinion that Trump's pledge to improve the refugee system may ultimately make the churches much more comfortable when it comes to assisting them. Whitt is comfortable with Trump's system as long the whole thing is not simply a religious test. Reverend Roger Gench at Washington's New York Avenue Presbyterian church spoke for a number of other pastors when he said that the order can be likened as a Christian call of resistance. A large swathe of clergy members have denounced the recent presidential order as discriminatory.