In 2018, record high numbers of men, women and children were driven from their homes across the world due to war, violence and persecution. The UNHCR’s annual "Global Trends" study found that a staggering 68.5 million people worldwide had been forcibly displaced by the end of 2017. Two-thirds of all refugees worldwide come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.
For the month of June we have chosen to pray for refugees all over the world in response to this crisis. Pope Francis recently issued his statement for WDMR2019 and has chosen the theme “It is not just about migrants” to show our blind-spots and make sure that no one remains excluded from society, whether a long-time resident or someone newly-arrived.
It is our hope that during this month, parishioners will take time to increase their own awareness of the world refugee problem and to pray for those caught up in the refugee crisis and for those who have the power and influence to seek solutions.
The four verbs that sum up the Holy See's response to the challenges posed to the political community, civil society and the Church when it comes to how we help migrants and refugees are explained in this short film. It is subtitled in English.
"A responsible and dignified welcome of our brothers and sisters begins by offering them decent and appropriate shelter"
"We are speaking about millions of migrant workers, especially men and women in irregular situations. Millions of asylum seekers and displaced persons; and millions of victims of human trafficking defending their inalienable rights, ensuring their fundamental freedoms and respecting their dignity are duties which compel one and all."
"Protecting migrants, refugees and displaced persons is not enough, what is required is the promotion of their integral human development. Responsibility for the full human promotion of migrants and their families begins with their home communities. That is where such promotion should be guaranteed, along with the right to choose to emigrate and also the right not to be forced to emigrate."
"Integration, unlike assimilation or incorporation, is a two-way process, rooted essentially in the mutual recognition of each other's cultural richness. I believe that taking action in these four ways, as individuals and in groups, is our duty today."
HOW TO PRAY FOR REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS
Take a moment out of your day today to pray for the millions affected by the refugee crisis:
Pray for refugees
Remember those making perilous journeys, fleeing from conflict and persecution. Pray particularly for children travelling in extremely dangerous conditions.
Pray for the governments involved
Pray for wisdom for all those in authority who make decisions that impact refugees. Pray for leaders to tackle the root causes of the refugee crisis.
Pray that countries in crisis would know stability
Ask God to bring stability in the countries men, women and children are fleeing from. Pray for Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria, Libya and other affected nations.
Pray for communities and organisations helping refugees
Lift up organisations, churches and communities who are working tirelessly to care for refugees. Pray they would be given wisdom and energy as they respond to families and children in great need.
look down with mercy on us and all refugees.
We remember your son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
had to leave his homeland and flee to Egypt,
when he was a baby,
with his mother, Mary,
and foster father, Joseph.
Help us to be aware
of the fears, anxiety, pain, sorrow,
difficulties and uncertainty all refugees suffer
and to remember that we all belong
to the same human family.
please give us compassion and courage
to help them in any way we can.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.