Only one of the 483 Syrian refugees approved by the United States for settlement was Christian since the refugee admission program came under more scrutiny after Paris terror attacks last November increased concerns about security risks and terrorists posing as refugees. Christians account for an estimated 10 percent of the Syrian population. One Canadian religious group now is focusing on trying to provide refugees spiritual assistance through various ministries.
The sole Christian among the 483 is identified in State Department Refugee Processing Center data as a believer of the Greek Orthodox Church.
As Syrian refugees flee to Canada, Canadians are embracing them as new citizens and offering practical assistance from warm clothing and housing to English lessons.
Managers of one religious organization, the Canadian Bible Society, are providing spiritual help at no charge to refugees and immigrants through their "On the Road" booklet. The resources are available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Chinese and English, and written in collaboration with people who have experienced the harsh realities of life as a migrant.
"This is our opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time," the society's web page states.
Within the booklet, Bible passages, divided into seven chapters and categories such as "Why Leave" and "A Difficult Journey," are presented alongside real-life stories of migrants and refugees. The booklet also contains Biblical accounts of God's people called to leave and endure life-transforming journeys, as well as thought-provoking questions.
Concerns about U.S. security also deepened after the Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif. by an ISIS-inspired U.S.-born son of Pakistani migrants and his Pakistani-born wife.
One-quarter of the 483 Syrian refugees, or a total of 125, admitted into the United States since Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) terrorists attacked the French capital on Nov. 13 are men between the ages of 14 and 50, reports CNN Tuesday. Another 106, or 21.9 percent, of the refugees from Syria admitted since Nov. 13 are women aged 14-50, and 228 are children aged under 14 - 118 boys and 110 girls.
U.S. Senators now are considering legislation that passed in the House of Representatives with a veto-proof majority last November, requiring additional screening of refugee applicants from Syria and Iraq. Legislators and President Barack Obama are reconsidering a plan to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the current fiscal year.
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom leaders asked the State Department to prioritize Syrian refugee applicants who have been targeted for religious reasons.
One person who identifies as pridebeforethefall on social media posted on Tuesday: "This settlement of Muslim 'refugees here and around the world has nothing to do with being impartial or equitable, it is setting the stage for Revelation. We are watching prophecy come true daily, lawlessness rules the world right now and Islam, a violent political ideology wrapped in the guise of religion, is at the forefront in what is to come in an eschatological manner."