In 2000, the United Nations General Assembly established June 20 as World Refugee Day to recognize and applaud the contribution of refugees throughout the world and to raise awareness about the growing refugee crisis. There are currently more than 60 million refugees, internally displaced people and asylum seekers worldwide – the largest number since World War II.
In just the past five years, nearly 5 million Syrians have fled the violence in their country, finding shelter in neighboring countries including Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt. The Episcopal Church, through Episcopal Migration Ministries and its network of 30 local affiliate offices, works every day to help refugees find safety, security, and hope in the United States.
A total of 69, 933 refugees and 7,226 Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients were resettled in the US in 2015. 4,874 refugees from 32 countries were resettled through Episcopal Migration Ministries.
WHAT CAN WE DO
This World Refugee Day, you are invited to join Episcopalians across the country in prayer and celebration of the strength, resilience, and contributions of refugees in our communities.
Join Episcopal Migration Ministries and the Episcopal Public Policy Network in a World Refugee Day webinar on Monday, June 20 at 7 pm Eastern. Register using this link: World Refugee Day Webinar.
Witness refugee stories of survival and hope through the Episcopal Migration Ministries video series available here: Video Series.
Advocate for refugee and immigration issues with your local elected leaders. Information available through the Episcopal Public Policy Network.
Live out your Christian call to care for your neighbors by engaging in the public square. Download the Episcopal Election Engagement Toolkit and take the pledge to vote this November.
Get to know your new American neighbors by hosting a #RefugeesWelcome event. Learn more at Refugees Are Welcome.
Volunteer with this life-saving ministry through an Episcopal Migration Ministries local partner. Click Network Map to find a local partner.
[su_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/Jtv4LCXEGEU” width=”600″ height=”400″ responsive=”yes” autoplay=”no”]
A PRAYER FOR WORLD REFUGEE DAY
[su_quote cite=”by #ShareTheJourney pilgrim Alyssa Stebbing*”]
Gracious God, we pray for our newest neighbors, that those families who have sought refuge from the ravages of war and violence may find not only shelter and sustenance, but also a loving and supportive community in which to create a new beginning with dignity. Amen.
*Outreach Ministry Director and Contemporary Music Director at Trinity Episcopal Church, The Woodlands, Texas
Slider design features original photo images courtesy of USA for UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency.