Evangelist Franklin Graham insisted that Syrian refugee children should stay in their war-torn country, and not come to the U.S. on Dec. 13 (video below).
Graham appeared on CNN to promote his Christmas shoe boxes that are shipped around the world to children by his charity, Samaritan's Purse. The shoe boxes include toys and Christian messages.
Graham told CNN host Carol Costello: "I want the children of the world to know that God loves them, and He will forgive their sins."
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Costello asked Graham what he had to say to children in Syria who cannot escape their country, and have nowhere to go.
"We go to them, and we help them there, that's what we do," Graham replied.
Costello reminded Graham that it is very hard to get into the country, which includes multiple warring factions - the Syrian government, ISIS, Russia, and U.S.-led coalition forces.
"We've got people there right now," Graham insisted. "And you can get into Syria. That is dangerous, no question about it. Anytime you're in a war-zone, it's dangerous."
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The U.S. State Department website said in a warning in October:
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR) because of the ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment. This FIR includes all the airspace over Syria and extends into adjacent international airspace.
Graham insisted: "America can't take all the people in the world. You just can't do it. We've got to find ways and avenues to assist people near their homes. Most Syrians don't want to come to America anyway. They want to go back to their homes, but their homes are destroyed."
Costello interjected, "They have no choice but to go to another country."
Graham then recalled how Europe was destroyed after World War II, and how it was built back up.
The BBC's website notes
The end of World War Two brought in its wake the largest population movements in European history. Millions of Germans fled or were expelled from eastern Europe. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, survivors of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis, sought secure homes beyond their native lands. And other refugees from every country in eastern Europe rushed to escape from the newly installed Communist regimes.
Graham said there had to be a political solution to Syria, which involved getting Syria and Russia to agree with the U.S., but he couldn't say how.