Refugee Highway Partnership in cooperation with the World Evangelical Alliance call Christians around the globe to stand by all people on the run by jointly commemorating World Refugee Sunday on 19 or 26 June 2022.
The Lord is the great Defender of those who are marginalised, he gives the foreigners food and clothing. As a global church, it is time to uphold the cause of those who are impoverished and oppressed, and those who are forcibly displaced. This is why this year’s theme for World Refugee Sunday, 2022 is “Defender”.
Scripture is clear about the injustices that God actively defends. Verse after verse, God declares justice for the foreigner, fatherless, and the widow.
“The Lord defends the rights of orphans and widows. He cares for foreigners and gives them food and clothing.” – Deuteronomy 10:18
The initiative to recognize World Refugee Sunday was launched more than 10 years ago by Refugee Highway Partnership in cooperation with the World Evangelical Alliance to raise awareness and pray for the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons around the world. Since June 20th has been declared World Refugee Day by the United Nations, the Sunday before or immediately after that event was chosen for this purpose.
World Refugee Sunday reaches out to individuals and congregations around the world who are invited to join the initiative on either day by organizing a Refugee Sunday in their own congregation, youth group, Sunday school or small group. For this purpose, Refugee Highway Partnership provides various resources each year, such as ideas for sermons and materials for Sunday schools. However, each congregation or group is invited to be creative and design their own program.
Another valuable resource is the film The Peace Between. This video documentary explores how unlikely friendships can begin and continue to grow. Viewers meet three Europeans who have had displaced people come into their country and their lives, and the people who have traveled thousands of kilometers to seek refuge in Europe. These are friendships that grew in spite of huge differences. Along with the film, resources are provided, which were co-created by the EEA and aim at creating opportunities for honest reflection and discussion about how we all feel about displaced people in our communities. Subtitles and a discussion guide are available in about 20 different languages.
This year, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance has also produced a documentary film “Justice on the Run” with bonus material on Afghanistan, which shows touching stories and the everyday reality of people on the run. The 55-minute film can be shown on demand as a preview in the small group or the community. Online, it will be screened as a premiere on Youtube on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 21:00 CEST and will then be freely available.
World Refugee Sunday provides a unique opportunity to relate to the millions of refugees and reflect together on how to respond as society, as a church, or as an individual. Are you in?