Photo Credit: Freedom House
[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] A call to pray, learn and act to help refugees has been issued by Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, who has made a video to mark World Refugee Day tomorrow (Thursday 20 June). He said: “When we welcome the stranger, we welcome the Lord God himself. We welcome Jesus. On World Refugee Day, pray, learn about refugees, learn about what you can do, and do whatever you can to help the strangers in our midst.”
He said 20 June is an opportunity to honour and celebrate the courage, strength, and resilience of refugees worldwide and to show support to the millions of people around the world who are refugees or internally displaced because of conflict or persecution.
The Mothers’ Union (MU) has also highlighted the work of MU members in supporting refugees around the world. Jeanette Lawrence, Regional Development Coordinator at the MU’s international headquarters, Mary Sumner House in London, said: “the 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world, includes 40 million internally displaced people and 25.4 million refugees. Of these, 2.4 million are from South Sudan and Uganda hosts 1.4 million of them. As both South Sudan and Uganda have large Mothers’ Union memberships this is of particular concern for us.” The Diocese of Madi West Nile in northern Uganda hosted the South Sudan Mothers’ Union Listening, Observing, Acting (MULOA) workshop recently drawing together 170 participants from around the country. Jeannette said, “Many of them said how useful it was to meet with others to share their experiences of how the conflict has affected them.” One participant from Yei said she didn’t feel safe venturing outside the town where she lived. “If we do, we are raped or killed. I had seven children: five girls and two boys, I have lost two of them. This all makes it a struggle to farm, provide for our families and get jobs.” In central Africa members have been supporting families who fled the violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC and live in overcrowded camps. There are also members working with internally displaced people and refugees in Myanmar, Burundi and Manchester. The Diocese of
Manchester is the first Mothers’ Union to officially sponsor a family from Syria under the government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.