Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, established in 1951 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This day commemorates the courage and strength of refugees world wide.
Some Refugee facts from Episcopallife:
1. There are 12 million refugees and asylum seekers worldwide
2. 8 million refugees have spent five years or more in refugee camps
3. 21 million people have been forcibly displaced within their own countries
4. 41,000 refugees were resettled in the US in Fiscal Year 2006
5. Episcopal Migration Ministries resettled 2,3000 in Fiscal Year 2006
6. The Middle East is the region with the largest number of refugees.
and: small church has assisted in resettling one family of 7 from Rwanda, two families from Burundi and four families from the Congo in the last three weeks.
A Collect for World Refugee Day:
The Lord be with you. Let us pray. Holy God, on this day we recall that your Son, our Savior, was himself a refugee, escaping his homeland for safety in Egypt. As you guided and protected the Holy family on their sojourn, so accompany all who have been forced to flee their homes in our time. Bless our efforts to welcome refugees to these shores and help us to celebrate the gifts of newcomers from many parts of the world who are resettled in our midst, through Jesus Christ our Lor, who gives us the Spirit of radical hospitality. Amen.