Are Christian refugees worse off than Muslim refugees?
Fr Khalil Jaar, who is currently looking after 400 displaced Christian families at his parish in Jordan, believes that Christian refugees are in a far worse position than Muslim refugees. He warned that Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria are not only being being actively “eliminated” by Islamic State terrorists but also discriminated against as a result of Western policies. “The people most in danger are the Christians” he stated.
A major part of the problem is that many Christians refuse to enter official UN camps fearing attacks from Muslim extremists who have infiltrated the camps. Their fear is well-founded – Muslim extremists have killed Christians there and abducted Christian women from camps to sell in slave markets. However, the fact that few Christians seek refuge in official camps effectively leaves them out of the circle of those receiving help since most refugees offered asylum by the US are selected from those already in camps.
Fr Jaar asked why the West is “not doing more for Christians and other minorities,” stating that followers of Christ are suffering greatly. “If the Christians stay in Syria and Iraq, they risk being eliminated by Islamic extremists and if they seek sanctuary abroad in the main refugee camps, they suffer abuse from those already there,” he explained.
Fr Jaar also spoke out against the continued persecution of Christians by IS, noting that “Whenever [the Islamist groups] seize any territory, one of their first aims is to eliminate the Christian presence”. He added “The West has totally failed to recognize what is going on in
Other organizations, such as the Global Strategic Alliance in the U.S., have also warned that Christians are being exterminated from the Middle East, Yet many Christians are being denied American visas that could save their lives. Rev. Kevin Jessip said: It’s inappropriate for the Untied States of America to discriminate against a minority religion who is in dire need of asylum. These are proven cases at the UNHCR that we’ve seen of people who have been denied, and are in jeopardy of losing their lives”.
Having fled their homes with literally nothing except the clothes they were wearing and unable to find work in Jordan or Kurdish Iraq, Christian refugees soon used up what little money they could bring with them and are reduced to living in the basements of derelict houses and relying on hand-outs from charities for their food. “Not only have they fled and lost everything, but now, in many cases, we are seeing people facing another impending threat, and that is starvation,” Jessip added.