Today the World Council of Churches have issued an appeal for everyone to sign the #WithRefugees petition, which will be handed in to the United Nations Headquarters before the UN General Assembly meets on 19 September. Sign the petition, to stand #WithRefugees
JPIT have produced resources on this theme for Peacemaking Sunday, which this year falls the day before – 18 Sunday. You can download these resources, When I needed a neighbour, here.
By signing a petition people around the globe are asked to raise their voices, to ensure that every refugee child gets an education, that every refugee family has somewhere safe to live, and that every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.
WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has issued this video message in advance of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Refugees and Migration, to be held in New York.
Standing with partners and fellow pilgrims around the world he says that: “the WCC now commits to actively supporting the UNHCR’s #WithRefugees campaign, calling on world leaders to find solutions for protection of refugees, based on a spirit of shared responsibility, shared values and common interests. Unfortunately, refugees and migrants have become convenient scapegoats for domestic socio-economic problems, and there is an increasingly widespread misuse of national immigration policies to codify xenophobic bigotry and prejudice.”
Dr Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, WCC programme executive for Mission and Evangelism, reflects: “With large-scale migration of people all over the world, we can see that xenophobia and racial violence are on the increase. Under such circumstances, as a fellowship of churches, our faith often calls us to carry out our mission from the margins. Only by being faithful to our human values can we achieve justice, peace, and build the hope so often needed in societies struggling with division and exclusion worldwide”.
A special prayer for use in the run up to the UN meeting has been issued by the Joint Public Issues Team:
Almighty God, inspire the leaders of the nations of the world and those with authority with love and wisdom, and open our hearts and hands to welcome the stranger, love our enemies and to do to others what we want them to do to us.
May your Holy Spirit reign in the hearts of those who have the power to end strife and conflict and may your presence be with those who seek to serve those in desperate need. We ask you to bless the international summits taking place in New York on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 September.
Be in the conversation and the conferencing and in all things remind the mighty and powerful rulers of the desperate situation facing some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people on earth.
We pray especially for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the United States Barak Obama as they seek to work for diplomacy, peace and the common good of all humankind.
In the name of Christ, who declared “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be known as children of God”,