In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network recorded on Thursday, but set to air in full on Sunday, President Trump said Christian refugees have been “horribly treated” and “we are going to help them.”
“The refugee changes that you’re looking to make, as it relates to persecuted Christians, do you see them as kind of a priority here?” CBN’s David Brody asked the President.
“Yes,” Trump replied. “They’ve been horribly treated.”
“Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible – or at least very, very tough – to get in to the United States?” he asked. “If you were a Muslim, you could come in. But if you were Christian, it was almost impossible.”
“And the reason that was so unfair, is that everybody was persecuted in all fairness, they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. I thought it was very, very unfair,” Trump continued. “So we are going to help them.”
While the administration of Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama significantly increased the number of Syrian refugees allowed into the country, an overwhelming majority of these were Muslim, despite the Islamic State’s systematic attempts to convert or kill both Syria and Iraq’s Christian population. In June 2016, for example, the United States accepted a record number of 2,300 refugees from Syria. Eight were Christian. As a presidential candidate, Trump made the case that the number of Christian refugees being accepted into the United States was too low, while the number of undervetted Syrian Muslim refugees could pose a danger to the safety of U.S. citizens.