Rev. Franklin Graham is standing up to defend President Donald Trump’s highly contested executive order that tentatively prohibits refugees from seven militant war-torn and terrorist-laden countries from entering the United States – as a measure for national security.
The son of the iconic world evangelist, Rev. Billy Graham, insists that the humanitarian relief of refugees is not the government’s responsibility, but rather the responsibility of the Church. He went on to contend that Trump is merely taking care of job number one as America’s commander-in-chief – to protect its citizens.
"The priority of the president of the United States is protecting the Constitution and the safety of Americans,” the younger Graham recently expressed on his Facebook page. “That's exactly what President Trump is trying to do."
Graham, who serves as the president of Samaritan's Purse, went on to show his support for Trump’s controversial plan to build a wall that continuously spans the 2,000-mile United States-Mexico border from the Pacific Ocean in California to the Gulf Coast of Texas.
"Taking action to secure our borders had to start somewhere,” the 64-year-old evangelist asserted before reflecting on the project as a solution to illegal immigration. “Is it perfect? Maybe not, but it is a first step."
The outspoken pastor from North Carolina also shared his view on the “extreme vetting” of refugees from the seven countries targeted by the president’s executive order that he signed during his first days in office – insisting that residents from every country should undergo the scrutinizing process when attempting to enter the U.S.
"We have to be sure that the philosophies of those entering our country are compatible with our Constitution,” Graham continued. “If a person does not agree with our principles of freedom, democracy and liberty, which we cherish, they should not be allowed to come.”
Putting his focus on Muslim refugees coming to America from militant terrorist-harboring Islamic nations, Graham contended that the brutal and violent nature of the Islamic law – derived from Muslim’s holy book, the Koran – should not be adopted by the U.S. because it goes against the very biblical principles upon which America’s legal system is based.
“Without question, Sharia law is not compatible,” he asserted.
Changing gears, Graham impressed that Trump’s executive order does not excuse the Church from its biblical calling to help and serve those in need around the world.
"The president's job is not the same as the job of the Church, as Christians we are clearly taught in the Bible to care for the poor and oppressed," Graham expressed to his Facebook fans. "As Christians we are commanded to help all, regardless of religious background or ethnicity, like the Good Samaritan Jesus shared about in the Bible. Our job is to show God's love and compassion."
According to Graham, until a political solution is reached, the international community should continue to protect the safe zones designated in the war-torn Middle Eastern nations of Syria and Iraq -- regions where he says Christians must step up to assist those who have fled to refugee camps to escape persecution. One American Christian humanitarian organizations, Operation Blessing International, has helped refugees in the Powder Keg of the Middle East since 2014 by giving them provisions, including food, diapers and bedding.
Not abandoning persecuted Christians
In support of the safe zones established by the U.S., Saudi Arabia’s King Salman told Trump on Sunday that he supports the designated areas in Syria and Yemen, according to a White House statement.
Trump recently voiced his concern for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, saying they should be the focus of any relocation efforts.
"They've been horribly treated,” the newly sworn-in president impressed to CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody in an interview. “Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible – at least very tough – to get into the United States?”
He then noted the contrast of how Christian refugees have been treated, compared to Muslim refugees over the years.
“If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair – everybody was persecuted in all fairness – but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians,” Trump added. “And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them."
Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry disagrees with Trump’s prioritization of Christians.
"We stand for a need-based resettlement approach that treats all faiths equally,” Curry proclaimed, according to CBN News. “We can't support a religious test in the United States, or in any other country. Policies akin to this drive horrendous persecution of Christians around the globe. A process that prioritizes one religion over another, as the Trump administration has proposed, can have negative effects not just in America, but around the world."
Supporting Trump’s plan to give priority to Christian refugees, Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom Director Nina Shea argues that Muslim refugees have overwhelmingly been favored by U.S. resettlement programs over Christians for years.
"Of the 12,587 Syrian refugees admitted under the ramped-up refugee program during the last fiscal year, a mere 0.5 percent were Christians – equivalent to about a dozen families,” Shea pointed out. “Yet, by State Department estimates, Christians accounted for up to 10 percent of Syria's population. The State Department argued it was already prioritizing the 'vulnerable minorities.' But in several aspects, the Christians were in reality put at the back of the line."