The Briefing: No safe haven for Assyrian Christians, Sanders speaks at Liberty U, Navy Chaplain cleared

Lisa Misner —  September 15, 2015

The BriefingNo safe haven will be granted in the United States for the Assyrian Christians

The United States is the largest home to Assyrians, many of them driven out starting a century ago during the Armenian genocide. Yet the Obama administration has made clear it won’t shelter the Assyrian refugees forced from Syria or Iraq by ISIS.

“This administration will not issue visas for Syrians based on Christian faith.”

That was the word given to Anglican bishop Julian Dobbs by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. As a board member of Barnabas Fund, one of the largest relief organizations working in Syria and Iraq, Bishop Dobbs appealed to the State Department earlier this summer on behalf of the Assyrian Christians. The State Department said no.

Officials told Dobbs the Assyrians should use “people traffickers” to get across their borders to Turkey then appeal to the UN for refugee status.

9 things you need to know about refugees in America

Because of wars, conflicts, and persecution, there are more people around the world than at any other time since records began that have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, reports the UN refugee agency. Currently, across the globe there about 19.5 million people are refugees, and about half are children.

The number of refugees admitted into the U.S. each year is decided by the President. Before the beginning of each fiscal year, the President, in consultation with Congress, establishes an overall refugee admissions ceiling as well as regional allocations. The total number of refugees authorized for admission in 2013 was 70,000. The largest regional allocation was to the Near East/South Asia region, which accounted for 46 percent of the authorized admissions number to continue accommodating refugee arrivals from Iraq, Iran, and Bhutan. Learn more about the laws, policies, and numbers regarding refugees in America.

Chaplain survives dismissal attempt

Navy Chaplain Wesley Modder has survived an attempt to force him out of the Navy after his commanding officer’s claims that Modder failed to show tolerance and discriminated against sailors of different faiths were not proven.

David Steindl, commander of the Naval Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn., said the evidence presented against Modder did not meet the standard of “gross negligence” or “disregard of duty.”

Capt. Jon Fahs had requested Modder be detached from duty last February for counseling sailors that premarital sex and homosexuality were wrong. Fahs said Modder had shown he was unable to function in a pluralistic environment.

“I am called by my faith to express love for all, regardless of the diversity of backgrounds from which they come,” said Modder, who is endorsed by the Assemblies of God. “I will continue to follow my faith in all things. I am grateful to be able to continue the ministry God called me to do.”

Bernie Sanders Seeks ‘Common Ground’ With Evangelicals at Liberty University

Speaking as an honored guest at Liberty University’s Sept. 14 morning convocation, Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders stated, “I came here today because I believe from the bottom of my heart that it is vitally important for those of us who hold different views to be able to engage in a civil discourse.”

Sanders noted he believed “we can find common ground” on issues like economic equality, family welfare, free higher education, and race relations.

“I am motivated by a vision which exists in all of the great religions, in Christianity, in Judaism, in Islam, in Buddhism, and other religions,” continued Sanders. “That vision is so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12 and it states, ‘so in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.'”

Assisted suicide bill passed in Calif.

Approved by the California State Senate Sept. 11 and the state Assembly Sept. 9, the End of Life Option Act would allow physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients, according to the Los Angeles Times. The measure heads for approval or veto to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has “expressed concern” about it but not articulated his position, the Times reported.

The California bill is modelled after Oregon’s so-called “death with dignity” law, but with several changes. California’s law would expire after 10 years if not reapproved by the legislature and would require doctors to consult in private with patients desiring to die in an effort to prevent coercion by friends and family members, The New York Times reported.

Sources: Baptist Press, Christian Post,, The Gospel Coalition, World Magazine

Lisa Misner


Lisa is IBSA Social Media/Public Policy Manager. A Missouri native, she earned a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Illinois. Her writing has received awards from the Baptist Communicators Association and the Evangelical Press Association.