Southern Baptists Vote to Support Refugee Resettlement After Trump Says to Ban All Muslim Immigration

Christian Syrian refugees travel in a bus which transports fifteen members of the same family who arrived at the Charles-de-Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, October 2, 2015. | REUTERS / Stephane Mahe

Amid calls to restrict Muslim immigration, the Southern Baptist Convention approved a resolution encouraging member churches and families to welcome refugees coming to the United States.

Messengers at the SBC's annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri approved Resolution 12, titled "On Refugee Ministry," as part of a block vote taken Wednesday on the five remaining resolutions from Tuesday.

"That we affirm that refugees are people loved by God, made in His image, and that Christian love should be extended to them as special objects of God's mercy in a world that has displaced them from their homelands," reads Resolution 12.

"That we encourage Southern Baptist churches and families to welcome and adopt refugees into their churches and homes as a means to demonstrate to the nations that our God longs for every tribe, tongue, and nation to be welcomed at His Throne …"

Ronnie Floyd, outgoing president of the Southern Baptist Convention, gives his final presidential address during the opening session of the SBC annual meeting Tuesday, June 14 in St. Louis. Floyd preached from Esther 4 and encouraged Southern Baptists to pursue racial equality. | (Photo: Baptist Press/ Adam Covington)

Resolution 12 also called for "governing authorities to implement the strictest security measures possible in the refugee screening and selection process, guarding against anyone intent on doing harm …"

Recently, refugee resettlement has been a lightning rod for political controversy, especially regarding displaced individuals from the Middle East.

Many state governors have officially refused to allow the resettlement of Syrian refugees, citing national security concerns over proper vetting.

"After the Paris attacks in November, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, was one of the first of more than 30 U.S. governors who are seeking to block the resettlement of Syrians into their states," reported Reuters.

"The federal government has tightened visa waiver rules for visitors following the attacks in France that killed 130 people and immigration has become a flashpoint in the November presidential election in America."

Since late last year, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has multiple times advocated a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.

Trump reiterated these comments earlier this week in response to the massacre committed at an Orlando gay nightclub that resulted in 50 fatalities including the shooter.

Although the shooter was born in the United States, Trump told "Good Morning America" that the incident only further confirmed that there needed to be a ban on Muslim immigration.

"We have many people coming in whose hate is equal to his and just as bad and even worse, frankly, and we have to stop people from coming in," claimed Trump.

"The problem was that we have a maniac, we have a madman. He could have used a bomb. He could have used other things, just as easily, just as easily."

In addition to the refugee resolution, the other resolutions approved in the block vote were a resolution to support freedom of the press, a resolution calling for Christians to be politically involved, a resolution against having women register for the draft, and a resolution affirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

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