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World Refugee Sunday 2021

World Refugee Sunday 27th June 2021

World Refugee Sunday will be held on two consecutive Sundays (June 20 & 27) and is commemorated by the Refugee Highway Partnership in cooperation with the World Evangelical Alliance to raise awareness of and pray for the situation of refugees and internally displaced peoples around the world.

The Theme for this year’s event is: Embrace
Leviticus 13:45-46, Luke 7:20-23

For the first time in history, the number of people fleeing persecution, conflict and violence has reached 80 million. Many of them are being excluded and refused a welcome in their new environments.

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Under the theme “Embrace”, this year’s World Refugee Sunday focuses on the Christian calling to embrace those excluded, just as Jesus received the excluded. For thousands of years, the leper community has been avoided by society (Leviticus 13:45-46), but Jesus didn’t shy away from hugging and healing them. When John’s disciples approached him to find out whether he was the one they had been waiting for, he replied, “Go back to John. Tell him what you have seen and heard. Blind people receive sight. Disabled people walk. Those who have skin diseases are healed. Deaf people hear. Those who are dead are raised to life. And the good news is preached to those who are poor.” (Luke 7:20-23) This same calling is for his disciples today, also in relation to other people excluded from society, such as refugees.

Over a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been discouraged from the loving gestures of hugging, shaking hands or even going closer to others. In a world where we are asked to “distance” ourselves from one another in order to protect one another, what does it look like to embrace the excluded?

World Refugee Sunday is an opportunity to join churches around the world as we focus our hearts, minds, and prayers on God’s heart for refugees.

What you should know:

  • World Evangelical Alliance and Refugee Highway Partnership started the initiative to recognize World Refugee Sunday more than 10 years ago.
  • Churches should feel free to focus on refugees however they feel led. Perhaps you can focus on Christian refugees fleeing persecution, refugees in your town, or a refugee ministry your church partners with.

What you can do:

  • Check to see if your church leadership know about this day.
  • Let them know that we can provide free resources to help them participate in World Refugee Sunday.

What we will do:

  • Send you materials to help spread the word about World Refugee Sunday.
  • Give access to resources to help your church or small group recognize World Refugee Sunday.
  • Enable you to share your World Refugee Sunday experience with churches and refugees around the world.

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Around the world, over 80 million people have no place to call home. Persecution and terror have forced these refugees and internally displaced persons to flee, leaving everything behind. They have lost family members, friends, possessions and the familiar places of their homeland.

Displaced people all over the world are at heightened risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Countries have tightened their borders, this has restricted the refugee resettlements. Displaced people are potentially at increased risk of contracting diseases, including COVID-19, because they live in overcrowded conditions without access to basic sanitation.

We invite you to participate in remembering those who are persecuted and oppressed around the world. In the current COVID climate, it will be difficult to physically gather for Refugee Sunday events. We suggest you use this time of social distancing for our individual prayer, reflection and response.

The churches, youth groups, Sunday schools and small groups could consider creating virtual prayer meetings. Additional information and resources will be posted on this website.