On 20 June, World Refugee Day will be observed with the theme “Every Action Counts” by all who are striving for a more just, inclusive, and equal world. The UN Refugee Agency, in a Global Trends report released this week, indicates that 1% of all of humanity is displaced. That is 79.5 million people fleeing conflict, violence and persecution worldwide.
“This year, more than ever, there is a need for hope, faith and courage to continue in our persistent efforts to make our world a safe, just, welcoming and equitable place for all,” Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary stated on the occasion of the day. “Each one of us, made in God’s image, has the power to make a difference and a unique contribution and, collectively, all our efforts can bring about transforming changes on spiritual, moral and social levels.”
WCC works with its member churches to promote compassionate and constructive responses to refugees, migrants, and all marginalised groups that are informed by Christian traditions of respect for human dignity and hospitality. Emphasis is given in churches’ efforts to explore the links between migration, racism and interfaith relations. In this context many of the churches develop advocacy projects with uprooted people that bring into sharp focus the prophetic and public role of the church.
Through webinars and seminars on migrants and racial justice, and through dialogues with the UN, the Vatican and ecumenical partners, the WCC seeks to lead a global response to hate and violence directed at migrants and marginalised people from a theological perspective.
“This World Refugee Day we call for world prayer for all refugees displaced by war, civil unrest and persecution,” concluded Sauca. “We invite you to explore the many ways your congregation or community can reach out to welcome the stranger.”