A group of evangelical leaders have voiced their concerns via a full-page newspaper advertisement on president Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban (1). Trump’s order (2) is having a definite impact on people from Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen. The 120 day ban is to allow for more in-depth vetting measures to be put in place. The order also gives priority to Christian refugees and other religious minorities who are facing persecution for their faith, and this might explain why Muslim refugees are converting to Christianity in order to assist them in their asylum applications.
According to CNN, however, many evangelical leaders oppose Trump’s ban. These include well-known names such as Pastor Timothy Keller, Christian author Ann Voskamp, Bill and Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, preacher and author Max Lucado, Pastor Eugene Cho of Quest Church, and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. According to the advertisement “As Christian pastors and leaders, we are deeply concerned by the recently announced moratorium on refugee resettlement. As Christians, we have a historic call expressed over two thousand years, to serve the suffering. We cannot abandon this call now.” Beyond these leaders, all of whom urge Trump to reconsider his executive order and thus welcome people fleeing persecution and violence, several states and legal organizations have sued to stop its implementation. On the other end, however, some well-known evangelical leaders support the ban. These include Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Franklin Graham of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the Rev. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas. In fact, according to polls, most white evangelicals side with Trump. More than half of white evangelicals (54%) and white mainline Protestants (53%) would support a law barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States, according to a survey conducted in June by the Public Religion Research Institute (3).
1. Neffinger, V. 2017. Evangelical Leaders Buy Full-Page Ad to Condemn Trump’s Travel Ban. Available.
2. CNN. 2017. Full text of Trump’s executive order on 7-nation ban, refugee suspension. Available.
3. Burke, D. 2017. 100 evangelical leaders sign ad denouncing Trump’s refugee ban. Available.