[Episcopal Public Policy Network policy alert] Each year, communities across the globe observe June 20th as World Refugee Day. This annual event offers the international community an opportunity to hold in our collective hearts those fleeing violence and seeking peace, while also celebrating the strength, perseverance, and contributions of refugees resettled in our communities.
For over 75 years, The Episcopal Church has been engaged in the ministry of welcoming refugees and migrants as they begin their lives anew in the United States. Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) serves as the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s foremost response to refugee crises around the world, welcoming refugees for whom the journey of escape is over, and the journey of hope in American communities has just begun. In 2014 alone EMM welcomed 5,155 refugees from 32 countries.
Since 2014, however, it has become increasingly clear that refugees and the displaced across the globe need our continued prayers, support, and service. The number of people forcibly displaced from their homes has now surpassed 50 million worldwide, the highest level since WWII. As an international community, as a country, and as Church we can and must do more to raise our voices in welcome.