Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop on World Refugee Day: “An opportunity to recommit to the protection of refugees”
On the 2011 World Refugee Day, marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori calls for a recommitment to the program and âto work toward safety for those fleeing persecution and violence.â
The Presiding Bishopâs statement, A Call for Recommitment, follows:
World Refugee Day: A Call for Recommitment
This year, as the world commemorates World Refugee Day, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees, a historic international declaration establishing the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Over the past six decades, the needs of refugees and internally displaced populations have increased markedly, as the number of persons displaced by persecution and conflict has topped 42 million. The majority of these persons are women and children. Refugees are leaving their homes because they fear for their lives, safety, and/or freedom.
We are called to serve "the least of these" and, as Episcopalians, we give thanks for the long history of this Church in supporting the integration of diverse communities of refugees fleeing atrocities and persecution in other parts of the world.
This anniversary provides an opportunity to recommit to the protection of refugees as well as to work toward safety for those fleeing persecution and violence. The Episcopal Church has extended a compassionate welcome to forcibly uprooted persons arriving on our shores since World War II. Today that work proceeds through Episcopal Migration Ministries. Our goal is to serve the most vulnerable in our midst and to welcome the stranger by amplifying the voice of refugees and other groups at risk.
Sixty years after the world came together to commit to the rights of refugees, God continues to call us to serve the orphan and widow, victims of war and violence, the alien and the sojourner in our midst.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Episcopal Migration Ministries: www.episcopalchurch.org/emm