Photo Credit: Leah Gordon / Us
The plight of refugees and the global issue of migration is the focus of a Lent study course produced by the Anglican mission agency United Society (Us).
The free five-week course, for Lent 2016, features stories from Brazil, Malawi, Myanmar and Zimbabwe, under the heading “Migration and Movement”; and also looks at the lives of Filipino migrants living in London.
“These are topics that are seldom out of the headlines and that touch all of us,” Rachel Parry, director of global relations for Us, said. “Indeed, our church partners around the world have been talking to Us about these issues for many years, with the arrival and departure of people from communities creating both challenges and opportunities.
“These are very complex issues, and we do not claim to have the answers. But we hope this course will inspire and challenge Christians and churches to engage more deeply with the issues and to consider how we might respond.”
The course will examine economic migration, the plight of refugees and communities displaced by climate change, as well as human trafficking. People like David and Isabel who moved to Sao Paulo in the hope of a better life.
“They paid a recruiter in Bolivia to find them a job and were required to hand over their personal documents,” Us said. “They had been tricked. They ended up sewing clothes on a production line, being forced to work 15-hour days, then sleeping on the premises. When they asked for wages they were verbally abused and threatened with being reported to the police for having no documents.
“At this point, a legal organisation working with the local Anglican church stepped in and brought the case to the attention of the police. On this occasion, the factory owners were arrested after being caught red-handed in a police raid. But such happy endings are few and far between; thousands of immigrants are suffering in silence.”
The Us Lent Study Course, Migration and Movement, is available online, and free printed copies can be ordered.