CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey writes in his April 28 column:
"Today, Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world."
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said that on the Senate floor March 17 after he explained what had happened six months before to a Syrian man and his 12-year-old son.
Then, on the same day Cotton gave his speech, Kerry met a congressionally imposed deadline by declaring that the Islamic State, which he called "Daesh," was committing genocide against Syrian Christians and other minorities.
Yet, even as they face genocide at the hands of the Islamic State, very few Syrian Christians are being admitted as refugees to the United States.
As Patrick Goodenough has reported in a series of stories for CNSNews.com, their number has not been in proportion to their representation in the Syrian population.
Cotton has offered the "Religious Persecution Relief Act" to help fix this problem. It would permit up to 10,000 Christians and members of other religious minorities in Syria to be admitted to the United States as refugees each year for the next five years. These refugees could apply through U.S.-backed resettlement centers and would not need to go through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. But they would go through the same security vetting as other refugees from Syria.
The House of Representatives voted unanimously last month to declare that the Islamic State is committing genocide against Christians and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq. Secretary of State John Kerry had no choice but to concur.
Will they now find no way to allow Middle Eastern Christians fleeing that genocide to find refuge in our land?
Jeffrey is effectively suggesting that the Obama administration is actively blocking Christian refugees from Syria -- something he offers no evidence for, because he knows (or should know) that it's not true.
As we've documented, Goodenough -- the CNS reporter whose work Jeffrey is citing as the basis for his column -- has inconsistently reported on the nature of the alleged refugee imbalance. Goodenough himself reported that Christian refugees from Syria tend to rely no Christian churches and agencies instead of the United Nations, which the U.S. uses to bring in refugees.Goodenough's latest article on the subject, headlined "220 Syrian Refugees Admitted Over Past 2 Weeks Include 1 Christian," again failed to explain that process.
That makes the number of Christian refugees reported to the government artificially lower -- something Jeffrey doesn't mention.
Jeffrey also suggests that the Syrian Muslims admitted as refugees are not facing religious persecution -- a suggestion Goodenough has also made. Jeffrey further complains: "Since Oct. 1, 2014 (the beginning of fiscal 2015), the United States has admitted 3,312 refugees from Syria. Just 38 were Christians. But 3,147 were Sunnis. That equals about 1.1 percent Christian and 95 percent Sunni. The Syrian population, according to the CIA World Factbook, is 10 percent Christian and 74 percent Sunni."
But neither Jeffrey nor Goodenough, in his most recent article, mention the fact that Sunni Muslims are victims of persection. A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has stated that Syria's ruling Assad regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Sunnis and others.
That means Cotton's proposed bill is superfluous -- unless the goal of it is to fearmonger about Muslims and advance the right wing's Christian victim narrative. In which case, Jeffrey and Goodenough are all in, even if it means hiding inconvenient facts to advance it.