WEA and RHP joint media release
Deerfield, IL - May 23, 2019
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) together with the Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP) call on churches to participate in the upcoming World Refugee Sunday (WRS) on June 16 or 23 – the Sundays before and after the United Nation’s World Refugee Day. The 2019 WRS Resource Pack provides pastors and church leaders with creative tools to respond to the various needs of refugees and displaced people.
“Headlines about refugees may at times be short-lived in today’s fast-paced news media, but the reality of displacement persists and affects countless people in every region of the world,” said Bp Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the WEA. “The situation may feel overwhelming, but if local churches take time to pray, to reflect on God’s perspective on refugees and displaced people, and then reach out to those in their surroundings who may have been forced to flee, they can make a great difference in people’s lives. World Refugee Sunday provides an ideal opportunity for your local church to get involved!”
“68.5 million is simply a number. But the world’s 68.5 million precious men, women and children forcibly displaced by war, violence and persecution can tell untold numbers of stories of personal and family pain and suffering, resilience and courage, hospitality and kindness, while many also experienced some of the worst inhumanities imaginable,” the RHP states. “We hope that the resources will help churches to lament and celebrate together and express their solidarity with displaced people in prayer and action.”
From Afghanistan to Yemen, from Congo to Venezuela: war, conflict, persecution and other hardships are a daily reality for many. The following are just two brief testimonies from Sri Lanka and the Democratic Republic of Congo:
“In the wake of the recent Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, the fear psychosis prevalent in the country has resulted in hostilities against refugees who have been mistakenly perceived as Islamist extremists. This includes aggression against Christian refugees from Pakistan as well. Following the attacks, angry mobs forced out these refugees from their places of residence and threatened local homeowners who host refugees and asylum seekers, who come from around 15 countries, with the majority being from Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some are Ahmadiyya or Shia Muslims and others are Christians, all persecuted by majority Muslim groups in their home countries. The pressure on these already deeply vulnerable people is intense. Thank you for standing with them and other forcibly-displaced people around the world on World Refugee Sunday.” - Mr. Godfrey Yogarajah, WEA Deputy Secretary General for Ministries and head of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance in Sri Lanka.
‘‘There is no time from my childhood to-date when I have seen my community fully enjoying the right to belong – all the time with difficult explanations, many times not believable. More than 50 years I still see my community running for safety. In the light of the latest violence in my village, I thought tonight: ‘nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle. Blessed are the peacemakers!’ Thank you for standing with us on World Refugee Sunday.” - Congolese pastor of a refugee church in another country.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” – Hebrews 13:2
Download the World Refugee Sunday Resource Booklet in the format that best suits your needs:
Over two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three world church bodies. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is one of those, serving more than 600 million evangelicals. Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals worldwide, the WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 7 regional and 129 national Evangelical Alliances, and over 150 member organizations. WEA's mission is to establish and strengthen regional and national Evangelical Alliances, who in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and community transformation for the glory of God. For more info, e-mail [email protected] or go to Worldea.org.