"You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Deuteronomy 10:19
Special Calendar Dates
- June 20 is World Refugee Day
Of the 22.5 million refugees in the world today, 2.6 million have been "warehoused," in camps or segregated settlements while many more live in urban areas in poverty or in informal housing. In camps, refugees live in crowded conditions in some of the most remote and inhospitable living conditions. Refugees are not allowed to grow their own food in the camps. Nor are they allowed to earn an income for their labor in most host countries. They survive on meager food rations and water that is trucked in or wells which are dug for them. Waiting in line for water is a major activity of the day. Tents and temporary structures become permanent homes. Safety is not assured. Refugee camps are not safe places to raise a family and yet many children are born there. While refugees wait for the opportunity to return home, locally integrate or be resettled, they stagnate, become dependent, lack stimulation, lose motivation and even hope resulting in a tremendous waste of human potential.
Refugee Facts (UNHCR)
- There were 22.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2016, 17.2 million under the mandate of UNHCR. The other 5.3 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
- During the year, conflict and persecution forced an average of 28,300 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere, either within the borders of their countries or in other countries.
- In 2016, the country hosting the largest number of refugees is Turkey, with 2.9 million refugees. Syria is the biggest source country. 55% of all refugees come from just 3 countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.
- In 2016, 51% of refugees were under 18 years old. Refugee women and girls account for 48% of the refugee population.
- Only 2.9 million of the 6.4 million refugees who are school-age were enrolled in primary or secondary education in 2016.
Resources on Refugees and Migration
- Global Ministries Refugee Journey: Syria Curriculum (July 2017)
- Refugees Welcome Toolkit (May 2016)
- Global Ministries Projects Addressing Refugees and Migration
- Disciples of Christ Refugee & Immigration Ministries
- United Church of Christ Refugee Ministries
- Church World Service
- Ecumenical Refugees Welcome Campaign
- Interfaith Immigration Coalition