The number of Christians finding security in the U.S. from other countries has fallen some 70 percent, according to a recent report.
Religion News Service reports that the “Closed Doors” report from Open Doors, an international Christian charity group that tracks persecution, said that in 2022, about 9,528 Christians found safety in the U.S. after fleeing persecution in their home country. In 2016, that number was 32,248.
In Myanmar specifically, the number of Christian refugees fell from about 7,600 in 2016 to just 587 in 2022. In Iran, the number dropped to 112 in 2022 from more than 2,000 in 2016, and in Eritrea, those numbers were 1,639 in 2016 to just 252 in 2022.
“The tragic reality is that many areas of the world simply aren’t safe for Christians, and Christians fleeing persecution need a safe haven in the United States,” according to the report.
While the number of Christians finding safety in America has fallen, persecution against Christians has increased worldwide, said Ryan Brown, CEO of Open Doors.
According to the Watch List released earlier this year, some 360 million Christians face what Open Doors calls “high levels of discrimination and persecution.”
The U.S. president annually sets a refugee ceiling, setting the number of refugees that can resettle each year in the U.S. In 2016, some 97,000 refugees were resettled in the U.S. In 2018, that number was set at just about 23,000; in 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer than 10,000 refugees were resettled in America.
According to Open Doors, this year’s ceiling is set at 125,000, and about 60,000 refugees have been resettled.
“We’ve had a history of being a refuge for those fleeing persecution for any number of reasons, among them, religious persecution,” said Matt Soerens, vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief. “I think that we’re at risk of losing that.”
Photo Courtesy: © Getty Images/Thitaree Sarmkasat
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.
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