In a joint letter commemorating World Refugee Day on June 20, Elizabeth Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, and Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, remind us to “live out the calling of our faith by seeking justice, peace and protection for our refugee and migrant siblings.”
“This year we mark World Refugee Day aware that welcoming refugees and asylum-seekers is more important than ever,” they wrote. “Halfway through 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) raised its estimate of the number of displaced people around the world, from 89.3 at the end of 2021 to 103 million. Families flee their homes for many reasons: conflict (as we’ve seen in Sudan and the Russia-Ukraine War), persecution, human rights violations, growing violence toward and exclusion of Indigenous and African-descent communities, and natural disasters intensified by Earth’s climate crisis. Lengthy periods of displacement in camps wear on the uprooted, affecting their health, access to education, and financial security. We must live out the calling of our faith by seeking justice, peace and protection for our refugee and migrant siblings. …”
“In honor of World Refugee Day on June 20, the ELCA and LIRS advocacy networks invite their members to a national day of advocacy, intended to build urgency for robust support for refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers. Participants will engage their elected representatives at the federal level, in person and over the phone. LIRS and ELCA remain committed to uplifting the voices and stories of people affected, many of whom will help lead our efforts on Capitol Hill. We urge all to learn more about refugee admissions in the United States, join LIRS’s 125 Watch campaign, accompany migrants through AMMPARO, and advocate through prayer and action for our neighbors in need.”
Read the full letter here.