WASHINGTON, D.C. – In Defense of Christians (IDC), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East, celebrates the arrival of nearly a dozen Christian refugees from Iran to Los Angeles.The group that arrived was part of a larger group of 87 Iranian Christians seeking asylum in the U.S. whose applications were declined by the administration in February 2018.
This group of 87 refugees was seeking asylum in the U.S. through the Lautenberg-Specter program, which is run in conjunction with the government of Austria. The majority of asylum seekers remain in Vienna while the U.S. processes their cases. The U.S. government notes the Lautenberg Specter program has rescued over 36,000 religious minorities from Iran since 2001. This figure includes Armenian Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahais, and Mandeans.
“I am delighted that the U.S. Government position has evolved and that their cases are now under review. IDC is monitoring the situation in Austria to ensure the rest of the group is processed as soon as possible,” said IDC President Toufic Baaklini.