UCC Global Ministries Responds to the Waves of Refugees
There are now more refugees and displaced persons than at any time in history, with the largest number coming from the Middle East. The most recent UN estimates are that over 4 million Syrians have crossed international borders as refugees since the war began there in 2011, and over 7.5 million are internally displaced. These numbers represent over half of the population of Syria, and they are growing on a daily basis. In addition, there are large number of Iraqi, Afghani and Palestinian refugees.
While the human crisis in the Middle East is longstanding, the recent influx of refugees into Europe has captured the world’s attention. The tragic image of the lifeless body of a 3 year old refugee boy washed up on a beach in Turkey has shocked the global conscious.
Global Ministries has been working intensively with partners in the Middle East since the beginning of the current crisis, especially with those in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. We also have longstanding partners in Europe who are responding. The Waldensian Church in Italy is addressing the tragedy of refugees crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa and, in the last two weeks, there have been direct conversations with German and Hungarian partners who are responding to the influx into their countries.
Global Ministries has been working with our partners in two ways: meeting the immediate needs of the refugees and the internally displaced, and doing justice advocacy to address the underlying causes. Information is regularly posted on the Middle East and Europe portion of the Global Ministries website
Your gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) and One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) enable immediate response support in such critical situations. Specific gifts to support refugee work can be made to the Conference or Global Ministries and earmarked “refugee support”.