World Relief's commitment to advocacy for justice and on behalf of the poor and oppressed is based on biblical truths and on the example of Jesus. Scripture constantly emphasizes the importance of showing compassion (Matthew 25:31-46), seeking justice (Isaiah 58:1-14), defending what is right (Proverbs 31:8), and showing mercy (Micah 6:8).
World Relief seeks to follow the example of Christ, who intervenes on our behalf to God, as our advocate. As Christians we are called to be Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), representing Christ to the world and speaking on His behalf. For this reason, we also defend those who are oppressed, weak and who do not have a voice of their own, whether in Darfur, Burma or the US, just as Christ defends us.
Advocacy is not just responding to individual needs, but influencing policies and structures that create poverty and oppress God's children. Proverbs 31:8 says to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
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January 7, 2014
Statement for the Hearing on the Syrian Refugee Crisis before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights
The conflict in Syria has created one of the world’s most pressing humanitarian situations in decades and has become a serious threat to peace and security in the region. Since 2011, more than 100,000 people have been killed1 as a result of the conflict and more than six million people have been internally displaced or have fled as refugees to a neighboring country including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey, among other states.
Support an Extension of the Iraqi SIV Program
Thousands of Iraqis who have placed their lives in danger to serve the United States Government and Armed Forces need your voice.
In 2008 and 2009 Congress created the respective Iraqi and Afghan Allies Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) programs in recognition of our responsibility to protect Iraqi and Afghan nationals who face persecution as a result of their employment by and partnership with the U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. These programs express our appreciation to Iraqi and Afghan nationals whose service on the ground in their countries is vital to the success of US missions.
The Iraqi SIV program will expire this September and the Afghani SIV program is set to expire in September 2014. If these programs expire, more than 75% of the visas will go unused due to bureaucratic delay while thousands of applications remain backlogged. This is an unacceptable response to those in the international community who have dedicated themselves to serving our troops.
We need constituent voices to tell Congress that, as Americans and people of faith, we have a duty to honor our commitment to these courageous men and women who have risked their own lives and the lives of their families to serve alongside the U.S. Government and Armed forces.
The Democratic Republic of Congo
In what is considered the world's deadliest conflict since World War II and the world's worst place to live for a woman, the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have gone through unspeakable horrors and continue to suffer from political turmoil, disease, and displacement. In a country known for its wealth of natural resources, various factions and rebel groups continue to destabilize large parts of the country.
World Relief is responding to local conflicts by encouraging reconciliation through Village Peace Committees. Pastors from different ethnic groups have been brought together to work for the common good. These local churches are the center of World Relief's efforts, as they support widows and orphans of the war. Hekima, a local microfinance institution, was created by World Relief to provide basic credit and financial services to the Congolese people.
Take Action to support peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo!
Read more here regarding World Relief's recent testimonies and statements regarding the DRC.
Read more about the Ten for Congo campaign.
World Relief is committed to reforming American immigration policies to make them consistent with Scripture's call to welcome the stranger. Specifically, we believe that reform is needed to speed processing of family-based immigration, create responsive avenues for immigrants to work in the US, provide a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, and protect the border humanely.
Take the "I Was A Stranger" Challenge
Challenge yourself, your church or campus to read 40 verses of Scripture related to immigrants on a bookmark and watch a short video with prominent evangelical leaders reading Matthew 25.
Take Action for Immigration Reform!
Read more here regarding our work on immigration reform, including the G92 student movement, toolkits, statements, blogs, learning guides, etc.
World Relief Statement on Senate Immigration Bill S.744
World Relief Letter to the House of Representatives
World Relief Immigration Advocacy Toolkit
Refugee and Asylum Legislation
World Relief supports legislation that would improve the refugee resettlement program and increase protections for asylum-seekers in the United States. Specifically, the Strengthening Refugee Resettlement Act would strengthen refugee resettlement by ensuring refugees have proper support once resettled in the United States. By bolstering successful job training and employment programs, refugees can quickly become fully active members of their communities. This bill would also ensure refugees from especially vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities, the elderly, and victims of trafficking, will have access to these programs.
Take Action to Support Refugees and Asylum-Seekers!
Read more here regarding various refugee-related bills in Congress and World Relief statements on these bills.
Refugee Funding: Current Budget Situation
At the end of February 2013, sequestration will take effect (which could mean budget cuts for all federal programs – approximately 5,3%). In addition, the Continuing Resolution currently funding the government will expire at the end of March. Congress will have to decide if the budget cuts included in the Budget Control Act (sequestration) will take effect and at what level to fund the government for the last six months of the fiscal year.
Take Action to Support Refugee Funding!
Read more here regarding the impact of budget cuts on refugees.
Advocacy for Persecuted Refugee Groups
World Relief has been active in ensuring that terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds (TRIG) and material support issues do not bar refugees and asylum-seekers from seeking the protection of the United States. Currently, there are thousands of cases on hold because of their work fighting brutal regimes or defending minority ethnic groups which made up a significant part of their refugee claim.
World Relief also advocates for the protection of specific refugee groups around the world, including most recently the Chin refugees in Mizoram State, India.
Take Action to help refugees waiting in limbo in the resettlement process.
Read more here regarding letters and news articles to protect persecuted refugees.