The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA) told a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee*** just that earlier this week according to Ekklesia.
They want the US government to find a peaceful diplomatic solution to the Syrian civil war and they say they are sending needed supplies to refugees. That is all wonderful. We would expect that of them as a Christian charity.
However, they also told the Senators this:
All vulnerable Syrian refugees should have access to the US resettlement program.
If by “vulnerable” they mean Christians, that is one thing. But, it never means only the Christians or they would say it! Thousands (tens of thousands!) of Muslim Syrians are hoping to get the opportunity to move to the US and Western Europe (where we see them breaking in every day!).
Here is the opening of the account at Ekklesia:
Evangelical Lutherans are asking the US government to take additional measures to meet the immediate needs of Syrian refugees.
In an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) ‘Statement for the Record’ – submitted to a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee in advance of a 7 January 2014 hearing about the Syrian refugee crisis – Lutherans have said that the “most vulnerable Syrian refugees should be resettled in the United States” and that, in continued partnership with the international community, US diplomatic efforts should be increased to bring about peace in Syria.
Then this (below) doesn’t make any sense to me. They want to bring refugees to America and elsewhere AND preserve their right to return when peace comes. Then why not propose this: have a temporary program where they must all return to Syria when the conflict is over. But, you know, and I know most will never return. And, preserving a place for religious minorities is a pipe dream as we see the Middle East increasingly being populated by Muslims (with the tiny Israeli oasis).
According to the statement the ELCA, along with Lutheran partners worldwide, “plan to continue to assist as we are able to serve our neighbour in need. It is our hope that, as the subcommittee continues to deliberate, that the U.S. government will prioritise this significant humanitarian situation and make every reasonable effort to ensure that the most vulnerable Syrian refugees are identified and served in order to alleviate, to some degree, the magnitude of the refugee crisis being experienced by Syria’s neighbours; this while ensuring that resettlement does not diminish [for] Syria’s ethnic and religious communities the opportunity to fully repatriate and flourish once peace comes.”
*** This must be the hearing that inspired Senator Ted Cruz to jump on the bring-them-to-America bandwagon.
By the way, we never did make a category for Syrian refugees (should have!), however, use the tag ‘Syrian refugees’ for our extensive list of posts on the topic.