A leading voice on the religious right sharply criticized the “dangerous” anti-refugee sentiment that has permeated the recent political debate in the United States — and warned that some Republican presidential candidates may turn off Christian voters with their lack of compassion.
Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, told BuzzFeed News on Thursday that he was shocked by the “overheated” rhetoric being employed by high-profile politicians in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris.
“Donald Trump is saber-rattling about shutting down Mosques in this country, which, as somebody who works every day on religious liberty, I’m astounded that we could have a presidential candidate of either party speaking in such a way,” Moore said. “Evangelicals should recognize that any president who would call for shutting down houses of worship … is the sort of political power that can ultimately shut down evangelical churches.”
Moore was also critical of candidates like Ted Cruz who are now arguing that the U.S. should only accept Christian refugees from Syria, not Muslims.