Christian persecution charity Open Doors USA has called on the Trump administration to be more proactive in seeking to resettle refugees who have suffered religious persecution. This comes as the group released a new report which projects a 90 per cent drop in the number of Christians granted asylum in the US over the past five years.
The report, Closed Doors, which was undertaken by World Relief and Open Doors USA, warned that "closing the door to refugees and asylum seekers threatens the lives of Christians" because "religious persecution of Christians [is] at some of the highest levels ever reported".
According to the report, in 2019, the number of Christians resettled to the US from a list of 50 countries notorious for persecuting Christians declined 69 percent compared to 2015.
"Christians need to speak out on this issue," said CEO of Open Doors USA, David Curry.
According to the report, over six months into 2020, just 50 Christians have been resettled in the US, compared to more than 18,000 in 2015. Unless the administration dramatically shifts its policy on the issue, it is likely that 90 per cent fewer Christian refugees will be admitted this year compared to 2015.
"It's not contrary for us to call out where the administration needs to step up. It's not right and we need to address it," Curry added, noting that the Trump administration must also be admired for its commitment to the principle of religious freedom across the globe.
World Relief vice president of advocacy and policy Jenny Yang added: "There have been many recent changes regarding refugee resettlement and asylum law that has effectively shut the door on many of the refugees from being able to access protection in the United States of America.
"As organisations that are working to help those that are fleeing religious persecution, particularly Christians, we feel like it is of the utmost importance that the ... U.S. keeps its doors open."
A State Department spokesperson insisted that the Trump administration "is prioritizing those who have been persecuted for their religious beliefs in line with our commitment to advance religious freedom internationally, including the protection of religious groups".