The current refugee crisis in the Middle East is one of the greatest, most complex humanitarian crises of our generation. But being a part of the solution doesn’t need to be complex. World Relief is committed to providing practical steps that every individual and church can take to make a real, meaningful difference in the lives of refugees and the displaced.
Today, the number of people in our world displaced from their homes by violence and persecution is unprecedented in human history. By the end of 2014, nearly 60 million people were forcibly displaced, with nearly a third–20 million–living outside of their countries as refugees. By far, the greatest force driving this crisis is Syria. Nearly half of Syria’s population is thought to be displaced or killed. Four million Syrians have now taken refuge in neighboring countries like Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon, struggling to build new lives for themselves in regions far from home.
Through partnerships with local organizations and churches, World Relief is providing temporary shelters, hygiene items, and psychosocial counseling to displaced refugee families, as well as sponsoring child-friendly spaces for mothers and children. World Relief is also working to train and equip churches to welcome the massive influx of refugees into Europe. In addition, World Relief has been empowering local churches to resettle refugees in the United States for more than 35 years.
We are on the ground in the United States, Europe and The Middle East
THE MIDDLE EAST
More than 4 million people have fled Syria.
World Relief is working with local churches to provide urgent supplies in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, meeting practical needs at this critical time.
The U.S. will admit 85,000 refugees this year.
In locations throughout the United States, World Relief partners with local churches to help refugees integrate into our communities, welcoming them as our faith compels us to do and providing help with housing, employment and cultural adjustment.
Countries in Europe will become home to 800,000 refugees.
You can help empower local churches in Europe as they welcome and serve these vulnerable populations, helping them find jobs, acquire a new language, and find housing.
WHY WE STAND WITH REFUGEES
1. IT'S BIBLICAL
Throughout the Bible, we are repeatedly told that God loves and cares for foreigners, and that he expects his people also do so. Jesus himself was a refugee, forced to flee the genocidal government of King Herod; he says that when we welcome a stranger, we welcome him. “The Lord watches over the foreigner, and sustains the fatherless and the widow” (Psalm 146:9 NIV). Refugees are uniquely vulnerable individuals who have fled persecution. Our biblical faith compels us to respond to their plight with compassion and hospitality.
2. IT'S FOUNDATIONAL
World Relief began in 1944 as the War Relief Commission, the rebuilding response of churches throughout the United States to a war in Europe that had fueled an enormous refugee crisis. Since the late 1970s, World Relief has empowered local churches to resettle more than 250,000 refugees within the U.S. Facing the greatest global refugee crisis since World War II, it’s time for the Church to rise up once again.
3. IT'S SUSTAINABLE
Refugees are not just vulnerable: they are also resilient and resourceful. While they may have needs up front, refugees have a long-term positive impact on the economies of the nations that receive them. They also bless the Church in the receiving country: many bring with them a vibrant, tested faith in Christ, and many more might encounter Jesus for the first time as they are welcomed by local churches.