Religion

Ryan: No 'Religious Test' In House Bill Pausing Syrian Refugees

Migrants wait to access Austria at the border. Photo by REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan called on Congress on Wednesday to promptly pass legislation tightening controls on Syrians seeking asylum in the United States, but stressed that such a bill will not discriminate against Muslims.

"We will not have a religious test, only a security test," Ryan, the top House Republican said in a speech to the chamber. Some Republicans have said that only Syrian Christians should be eligible for asylum in the United States.

Ryan said the legislation, if enacted, would bring a "pause" in President Barack Obama's program allowing some Syrians fleeing war to come to the United States.

(Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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