World Refugee Sunday to “Rouse the Conscience of the Church” on Refugee Issues

General May 29, 2008

World Refugee Sunday 2008,” promoted by the Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP), will be held on Sunday, June 22, for the purpose of uniting the churches around the globe in prayer in an effort to remember the millions who have been displaced.

Originally launched as a cooperative network within the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) in 2001, the RHP is a unique blend of individuals, churches and organizations around the world who are working to assist refugees at diverse points along their journey. Through World Refugee Sunday, RHP seeks to engage people of faith on refugee issues.

“World Refugee Sunday is an incredible opportunity for churches worldwide to show support and solidarity with millions of displaced women, men, and children,” said Heidi Moll Schoedel, Executive Director of Exodus World Service and Chairperson of the RHP. “We are seeking to rouse the conscience of the Church through this powerful event.”

Approximately 40 key leaders from around the globe will be traveling to Uganda -- a refugee “hot spot” -- to stand in solidarity with suffering refugees, and join together with the African church on World Refugee Sunday. More than 35 million people throughout the world are refugees or displaced persons forced to flee their homelands due to persecution, disaster and terror.

“These people have lost family members, friends, and possessions, not to mention the familiarity of home,” said Linda Moorcroft, Executive Director of the Christie Refugee Welcome Centre in Toronto and a member of the RHP’s core leadership team. “Which is one reason why this event – and the continued involvement of the Church – is so vital. It’s a signal that we care deeply for each of them.”

The RHP Uganda Roundtable, hosted by the Association of Evangelicals of Africa (AEA), a regional body of the WEA, will allow participants to see firsthand the impact of refugee movements and internal displaced persons in the host country, and partner with like-minded church leaders and refugee advocates to move the church world-wide to response and action.

The WEA International Director Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe also sent a message from New Zealand in support of the World Refugee Sunday 2008.

"In light of the hundreds of thousands of displaced peoples in just Myanmar and China alone over the past few months, it seems very appropriate to again connect our national alliances and their member churches to this important annual prayer initiative for the millions of refugees around the world,” said Dr. Tunnicliffe, who serves as an advisor to the RHP. “Praying for and supporting these people with no where to call home needs to be part of our Christian response in being the light and salt in our society."

The RHP is a community of Christians from around the globe who share a commitment to welcome and serve refugees and a desire to see the church more actively involved in refugee ministry. The term “refugee highway” refers to well-worn paths that criss-cross the globe. Millions of desperate people travel these routes every year after being forced from their homelands by violence, terror and persecution. These refugees seek a safe place to end their journey and begin new lives in freedom and safety. The RHP seeks to engage the global church on these issues and is coordinated by a team of refugee ministry leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

Visit www.refugeehighway.net to find out more about the Refugee Highway Partnership and World Refugee Sunday. Bulletin inserts, prayer ideas and background materials are available for download.

Contact Information:

Heidi Schoedel, Chairperson of the RHP
E-mail:
[email protected]
Phone: 630/307-1400 ext.107.