President Donald Trump revived his claims that Christian refugees from Syria are discriminated against by the U.S., while Muslim refugees are allowed in, on Jan. 27 (video below).
CBN's David Brody asked Trump if he was going to treat Christian refugees with priority, and Trump confirmed that he would based on his assertion about Syrian Christian refugees:
Yes, yes. They’ve been horribly treated. Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough to get into the United States? 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 is that everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So, we are going to help them.
Politifact noted in 2015 that more Muslim refugees have immigrated from Syria than Christians, but added "it’s important to keep in mind that the population of Syria is overwhelmingly Muslim to start with. The CIA World Fact Book says Syria’s population is 87 percent Muslim and 10 percent Christian."
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The fact checking website continued: "More importantly, there is no evidence whatsoever for the most explosive element of Trump’s charge -- that the U.S. government is discriminating against Christians as a matter of official policy."
Trump made a similar claim during a speech in Las Vegas in July 2015:
If you're from Syria and you're a Christian, you cannot come into this country, and they're the ones that are being decimated. If you are Islamic ... it's hard to believe, you can come in so easily. In fact, it's one of our main groups of people that are coming in. Now, not that we should discriminate against one or the other, but if you are Christian, you cannot get into the country. You cannot get into the country.
Trump made similar claims during an interview on CBN with Brody in May 2015:
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One of the things I learned this weekend being in Iowa, I met with a lot of national security experts and everything else, that if you're a Christian living in Syria you can't come into this country. Yet, if you are a Muslim living in Syria, who are not under attack, they can come in.
But we have Christians being beheaded all over the world by ISIS. In Syria and in Iraq, in particular, those Christians can't come into this country.
You say what you want but this is really something. That's a lack of respect for us. If you're a Muslim, you can come into the country very easy. If you're from Europe and you're a Muslim, you can come in. But if you are from Europe and you're a Christian you can't come in…meaning it's almost impossible.