June 20, 2023
You cannot turn on the news these days without hearing about violence and displacement. We live in turbulent times. According to the United Nations, we are witnessing record high numbers of forced displacement and migration — over 100 million globally. The causes are many — civil wars, the rise in autocratic governments who violate human rights with impunity, drug wars and even domestic violence. Natural disasters, too, such as hurricanes, droughts and flooding. And when asked, most migrants will tell you that they have left home for a combination of these factors. Their destinations are often determined by where they have family or friends and the financial resources to get there.
June 20 is World Refugee Day. A day to remember and acknowledge all those who have had to seek safety outside their country. We take time to remember and pray for the situations that caused them to leave in the first place. We pray for their safety as they journey and where they settle. We recognize the many gifts they bring with them and the contributions they make to their new homelands. We pray for our own communities to be a place of welcome, comfort, joy and new possibilities for all of us.
June 20 is also a day to recommit ourselves to living into the type of world that God envisions for us. As Christians living in the United States, we have a particular responsibility to speak up with our elected officials. To speak out against xenophobia, racism and hatred. To speak for the dignity and rights of every human being — in our foreign development policies and in our immigration policies.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has compiled World Refugee Day resources from across our denomination and from our ecumenical and interfaith partners to offer a number of ways that we can honor refugees and displaced people. How will you honor this day?
Susan Krehbiel, Associate for Migration Accompaniment Ministries, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: World Refugee Day
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
O God of the sojourner, today we remember those who have set out on journeys not of their own choosing. We pray that you may guide them to safety and give them courage to face the challenges that lie ahead. And may our hearts be open to meet Jesus in each encounter. Amen.