Megachurch Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas has blasted President Barack Obama’s plans for the United States to admit 110,000 more refugees in 2017 as “absolutely ludicrous,” and warned that terrorists today are much more likely to be Muslims than Christians or Jews.
Jeffress was asked about his opinion in an interview on Fox Business on Wednesday regarding Obama’s announcement.
“First of all, these refugees, almost exclusively, are Muslims, not Christians or Jews. All of the recent homeland attacks have been committed by Muslims, not by Hindus, Jews or Christians. It may be politically incorrect to say, but it is nevertheless true that a terrorist today is exponentially more likely to be a Muslim than a Christian,” the pastor claimed.
He also reminded viewers that the Islamic State terror group in Iraq and Syria, which has been one of the primary causes for the influx of refugees to Europe and America, has vowed to infiltrate the migrants and send its own fighters among them.
“Why in the world would we allow undocumented Muslims to come into this country right now?” Jeffress asked.
“Obama’s policy is not rooted in Christianity, it’s rooted in insanity,” he added.
TIME magazine pointed out that if Obama’s plan goes through, it would mean a nearly 60 percent increase of refugees coming to America as compared to 2016.
The president has been vocal about the issue, and on Tuesday during his speech at the U.N. General Assembly in New York called the migrant crisis a “test of our common humanity.”
Jeffress insisted that while Americans want to show compassion for refugees, there is also a need to show compassion to victims of terrorism in America, such as those wounded in the recent attacks in Minnesota and New York over the weekend.
“What about those victims?” the pastor argued.
Other religious world leaders, such as the Vatican’s Pope Francis, have insisted that welcoming in more refugees is actually the best way for nations to combat terrorism.
“I encourage you to welcome refugees into your homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm human welcome,” Francis said in a speech to Jesuit alumni this past weekend.
“Remember that authentic hospitality is a profound Gospel value that nurtures love and is our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism,” the Roman Catholic Church leader added.
Some prominent Evangelicals in the U.S., such as Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, have also called on Christians to follow in Jesus’ footsteps when helping migrants.
“Why must we care about these refugees? Why must we care about foreigners? Why must we care about immigrants? What the Bible sometimes calls aliens, foreigners, strangers in the land? Because God commands it. All throughout Scripture, God says you are to treat people who are out of their country kindly,” Warren said in January at the at the GC2 Summit at Community Christian Church in Naperville, Illinois.
Jeffress has asserted on a number of occasions that securing the borders and protecting its citizens is the “God-given responsibility” of the U.S. government.
“The responsibility of government, according to the word of God, is to protect its citizens. One way that government protects its citizens is by securing the borders. It is government’s responsibilities to secure the borders,” the First Baptist Dallas pastor said in November 2015.