August 2018 Prayer Partner Message
As you may be aware, the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. has declined dramatically over the past few years. Among those impacted by this change are many persecuted Christians, who in recent years have been the plurality of refugees admitted to the U.S., but whose numbers overall are down by more than 60 percent over the past two years.
This slowdown in refugee admissions impacts individuals who have fled horrific persecution because of their commitment to following Jesus. In the first six months of 2016, more than 1,500 Christians were admitted to the U.S. as refugees from the Middle East, including from countries where the U.S. State Department has said that Christians are facing genocide. But in the first half of 2018, just twenty-threeChristian refugees from the Middle East were admitted, a decline of more than 98 percent.
Within the next several weeks, our government will determine the maximum number of refugees who can be invited to the U.S. for the upcoming year. Last year, that number was set at 45,000—the lowest “ceiling” since the Refugee Act was signed into law in 1980—and at this point, it seems very unlikely that even half that number will be allowed to the U.S. News reports suggest that the ceiling could drop to 25,000 or even 15,000 for next year—meaning even fewer refugees would be afforded the opportunity to find safety, rebuild their lives, and enjoy the blessing of religious liberty within the U.S.
Last week, the leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table sent a letter to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, urging them to do all within their authority to ensure that the ceiling for refugee resettlement is set at a historically normal level such as 75,000, such that refugees—whether they have been persecuted for their faith or for another reason—are able to come to the U.S. after a careful vetting process.
We’d like to invite you to add your name to this letter, which we’ll then re-send to these leaders to show the broad support from American Christians for welcoming refugees. You can add your name at http://bit.ly/EITLetterRefugees.
Beyond that, we’d ask that you be praying for these leaders, as well as for the president, the Congress, and refugees abroad who are desperate for a long-term, safe place they can call home, where they can practice their faith without persecution or governmental interference.
National Coordinator, Evangelical Immigration Table
P.S. I’ll be in Washington, D.C. next month along with Jenny Yang, Travis Wussow, and various other leaders within the Evangelical Immigration Table for The Justice Institute, which includes some amazing speakers and the opportunity to advocate personally on Capitol Hill. There are still a few spots left if you’d like to join us (use code WR10 for a discounted registration)!