Evangelical Christians celebrate Refugee Sunday worldwide
Refugee Sunday will be on 21 June. In a new document about the refugee crisis, European evangelicals call “to pray, consider your country’s response and speak up”.
EAI, SEA, EEA, WEA · 16 JUNE 2020 · 16:11 CET
The United Nations declared 20 June, World Refugee Day. The World Evangelical Alliance, along with the Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP), asked churches to dedicate the Sunday before (14 June 2020) or immediately following (21 June 2020) as Refugee Sunday.
The theme of this year’s World Refugee Sunday is ‘One Standard, One God’, inspired by Leviticus 24:22.
“This year, we want to remind ourselves that refugees are people. They are made in the image of God and should be treated with the same dignity and respect we want to be treated ourselves”, said Jude Simion, head of WEA’s Refugee Task Force.
According to the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA), “it is an opportunity for churches worldwide to show support and solidarity with the world’s 68.5 million forcibly displaced men, women and children”.
EEA new paper on refugees and asylum crisis
The evangelical entity has published a new edition of the position paper on refugees, titled “Europe refugee crisis: What to think about it. The European Evangelical Alliance’s policy positions on the asylum crisis”.
Cover of the new edition of the EEA paper on refugees. / WEA.
“The EEA knows there are no simple answers to the humanitarian needs, societal challenges or political realities. Many countries are exhausted by the efforts they have made. However, it is deeply worried about what some of Europe’s response to the asylum crisis says about the societies we have become and where we, and the refugees themselves, could end up”, they say.
EEA: “Pray, consider your country’s response and speak up graciously and boldly”
The document presents 5 positions. The first two ones warn about the sometimes “insufficient or shamefully unethical international responses” and the importance to “recognise a limit to the generosity of host countries”.
The EEA paper also denounces that “portraying migrants as the facto threatening or dangerous people is untrue and morally wrong”, and emphasises that “principles of religious freedom should prevail”.
It finally points out that “the Bible is very clear that there is a duty both on foreigners to integrate into their new society and on the host community to welcome the foreigner and assist newcomers to settle”.
Throughout the document, the EEA calls upon Christians “to pray, consider their country’s response and then speak up graciously and boldly”.
The Peace Between film
Another resource that the EEA recommends for this campaign is a film called The Peace Between, which they describe as “an excellent tool for honest reflection and discussion about how we all feel about displaced people in our communities, with an accompanying discussion guide, which are available in about 20 different languages”.
The film The Peace Between. / WEA
It explores “how unlikely friendships can begin and continue to grow. We meet three Europeans who have had displaced people come into their country and their lives”.
Swiss Refugee Sunday: “De-alienated - At home in Switzerland”
The Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA), together with several partner organisations, has also called for various activities on the occasion of this year's refugee days, under the motto “De-alienated - At home in Switzerland”.
“Our desire is for refugees not to be alienated, but to become our neighbours and for them to feel at home and accepted in Switzerland”, the SEA points out.
The evangelical body has developed “a prayer booklet for young and old, to use during the summer holidays and a video with the stories of refugees who have built a life and found a home in Switzerland to be shown in the worship service on June 21”.
SEA motto for Refugee Sunday is “De-alienated - At home in Switzerland”. / SEA.
The AEI calls Italian Christians to pray for refugees and those who work with them
The Italian Evangelical Alliance has also encouraged Italian Christians to celebrate the Refugee Sunday, giving them suggestions of different topics to pray for, such as “refugee camps, where Covid-19 infection can spread very easily”, “millions of refugees who are struggling to put food on the table”, or “the Italian Christians who work among refugees”
“Very often, the refugee is not treated with justice and the host nations rob his dignity. For example, the thorny issue of the distribution of asylum seekers in Europe has never been resolved”, the AEI underlines.
You can find more resources for the Refugee Sunday on the official website of this initiative.
Read the most recent news about refugees.