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Christian Groups to GOP: Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Mean-Spirited, Offensive

Image: Christian Groups to GOP: Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Mean-Spirited, Offensive
 Relief for Christians fleeing ISIS territory (Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 08:43 PM

Christian organizations are troubled at Republican calls to halt admission of Syrian refugees and are urging supporters to challenge White House candidates on the issue.

The moves by GOP presidential candidates do not "reflect what we've been hearing from our constituencies, which are evangelical churches across the country," Jenny Yang, vice president for advocacy at World Relief International, told Politico.

An evangelical agency based in Santa Barbara, Calif., World Relief is among many groups that help more than 70,000 refugees settle in the United States every year, according to the report.

"Most of the people have been saying we want to continue to work with refugees, that what happened in Paris ... doesn’t reflect who refugees are," Yang said.

Republicans are sharply challenging President Barack Obama's plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees next year in light of the Paris attacks.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a vote on the issue this week, while more than 30 governors have said they will not allow refugees to settle in their states.

One supporter of a Christian group involved in refugee resettlement expressed insult at candidate Chris Christie's suggestion that the U.S. bar Syrian toddlers who have been orphaned by the civil war if necessary.

"That was offensive. That was mean-spirited," the advocate told Politico of the New Jersey governor's remarks. "It’s disappointing, because there have been Republican senators and presidents who have strongly supported this program over the years.

"There’s a proud tradition in the Republican Party of welcoming those who are fleeing persecution, and this takes the party in a negative direction. It’s easy to pick on vulnerable refugees who have no voice.

"But there are immigrant groups who have voting power that understand what is going on," the advocate cautioned. "They understand that it's an anti-immigrant message."

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Christian organizations are troubled at Republican calls to halt admission of Syrian refugees and are urging supporters to challenge White House candidates on the issue. The moves by GOP presidential candidates do not reflect what we've been hearing from our...
christian groups, support, refugees, troubles, anti-immigrant, gop
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2015-43-17
Tuesday, 17 Nov 2015 08:43 PM
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