The last few years have seen hundreds of thousands of people leave their homes and countries to try and find safety and a new life elsewhere. People have travelled thousands of miles, on treacherous journeys simply to get away from war, terror and fear. In Syria alone, the numbers are staggering – 3 million have left, whilst 6.5 million are displaced within the country. That’s means nearly half the population can identify with the term ‘refugee’.
This week is Refugee Week. It gives us the chance to celebrate the positive impact that many refugees and asylum seekers have had on the UK. But it’s also about raising awareness and doing something to help those who are currently refugees – and as you’ll know, that’s a pretty massive group of people.
At Open Doors, we’ve been working with partners on the ground in countries like Iraq, Syria and neighbouring Lebanon to help internally displaced and refugee families for several years. Through our partners we’ve helped provide emergency relief, safe shelter, trauma counselling, micro loans for new business and much more to those who have had to flee home. But you can help too. Try one of the following ideas this week (or over the next few weeks) to raise prayer, money and awareness for those who have had to flee home because of war, fear and terror.
Check our Walk With Them page and organise a simple 10 mile sponsored walk. Our free pack contains reflection times to work through during walk break points, helping you literally walk with people from Iraq and Syria that had to flee their homes.
We’re calling on the United Nations to do all they can to ensure that Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East are considered equal citizens, have dignified living conditions and will have a role in the reconciliation and rebuilding of their societies. Text ‘SIGN’ now to 60777 to sign the petition and use your voice!*
Sleep in an uncomfortable place. Try the floor instead of your bed or spend the night in your church or church hall with a group of friends. Alternatively sleep outside – or even in a shed! Only take a small overnight bag, no luxuries and experience just a fraction of what it feels like to sleep in insecurity.
Make a date with an empty plate. Sign up to miss a meal at least once during Refugee Week – and donate the money saved (perhaps the equivalent of a takeaway meal) to food relief packs for Christians who’ve fled persecution – the ultimate in fast giving.
In many places across the Middle East and North Africa, access to Bibles is restricted or limited. For many Christian refugees, in the rush to leave home, Bibles were forgotten. You can send a Bible to a Christian in the Middle East or North Africa for just £5. Text ‘WORD16 £5’ to 70070 to donate now* or give online at the link below.
The first thing that many Christians who are facing persecution for their faith ask of us, their family around the world, is to pray. So please do. Spend time during this week – just five minutes a day, reflecting on the refugee crisis and asking that people would find safety, security and a future. If you’re struggling to know what yo pray, grab our free ‘And When You Pray’ guide and check out our prayer page for regular prayer stories and points…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.