US President Donald Trump has suggested Christians from Syria will be prioritised when applying for refugee status in America.
The republican made the comments during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network on Friday (27 January) that is set to air on Sunday (29 January), stating persecuted Christians would be prioritised by the US.
"They've been horrible treated," Trump said. "Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough, to get into the United States.
"If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians," he told the channel in comments carried by Reuters.
However, statistics compiled by the Pew Research Centre in October last year suggest during 2016 there were almost identical number of Muslim and Christian refugees taken into the US from all countries, with 38,901 Muslim refuges and 37,521 Christians.
Trump's comments provoked an immediate backlash on social media, where many people suggested he was sticking to his plan to ban Muslims from the country.
The president suggested a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the US, which he later said would be a case of 'extreme vetting' for people from some Muslim countries.
Trump is now set to sign an executive order temporarily banning entry to the country for people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The countries, believed to be Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, and Somalia, are those Trump believes pose a threat to US national security and will face a 30 day ban while he reviews 'vetting processes' for people entering the US from those countries.