This year's World Day of Migrants and Refugees is on Sunday 27 September with Pope Francis' chosen theme: “Forced like Jesus to flee,” which focuses on the plight of internally displaced people.
Welcome each other, as Christ welcomed you (Romans 15:7)
In scripture, we read the account of the Holy Family fleeing Herod’s persecution. In every person forced to flee for safety, Jesus is present. In the face of the hungry, the naked and the destitute refugee and migrant, we are called to see the face of Christ who asks for our help.
The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the right for everyone to seek and enjoy asylum in other countries free from persecution. This right lies at the heart of contemporary work in this area.
Archdiocesan Working Group
The Archdiocese's Commission for Caritas, Justice and Peace has formed The Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers sub-group. It is committed to:
• Finding ways to work with local parishes and other organisations to make life better for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.
• To educate ourselves and others about the problems facing displaced people and to communicate accurate information which conveys a positive message about the gifts refugees and migrants can offer.
• To make links with other voluntary and public organisations with a parallel mission.
If you would be interested in joining the Commission’s working group, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Taking Action in Parishes
There are a number of practical steps that you can take as an individual or parish community. Your parish could consider funding an asylum seeker or failed asylum seeker in need of support through the Refugee Survival Trust, at www.rst.org.uk.
Parish communities may wish to publicise or take part in a Befriending Programme. This could be a specific venture, or part of existing programmes such as soup kitchens or food banks. You can get support and access an online programme by emailing email@example.com
Your parish can join local networks to show support for refugees through the New Scots Connect map and forum which can be found here.