****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE****Statement from Stephan Bauman – President of World Relief
Date: 10 Sept., 2015
EVERY AMERICAN CHURCH CONGREGATION SHOULD WELCOME A REFUGEE FAMILY
“The American church is ready and willing to extend open arms to those fleeing war and terror in the Middle East. Whether it’s hosting refugees in our own country, or supporting churches serving them in other countries, the American church has chosen to act.”
Stephan Bauman, World Relief
We have all been heart broken by the images we’ve seen of families escaping the violence of the Syrian conflict.
We are calling on President Obama to increase our nation’s refugee intake to 200,000 (including 100,000 from Syria).
Additionally, we believe, every American Church Congregation can welcome a Refugee Family into their community.
The United States has been the high standard by which much of the world measured its response to refugees. While the U.S. government continues to admit refugees, the annual intake has declined significantly from 1980, when the country accepted and, with the help of churches, schools, and community organizations, integrated more than 200,000 refugees. In the current fiscal year, the U.S. is on track to accept about 65,000 refugees.
While this is a significant number, it pales in comparison to the scope of the global refugee crisis facing the world today: for the first time since the crisis of World War II, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that there are more than 50 million refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced people. There are approximately 4 million refugees from the conflict in Syria alone, with 8 million more displaced within the borders of Syria.
This week Germany has committed to receive 800,000 refugees. This is a monumental decision, one that challenges the United States to live up to our founding principles by increasing our refugee intake. With a significantly larger country and a proud history of immigrant integration, the U.S. can do much more.
The local church is the most diverse social network on the planet. It must engage the great global issues of our time. As followers of Jesus our first response needs to be one of compassion and justice. We must value human life above all other agendas. Let us not forget, Jesus was a Refugee.
Now is the time to act. – www.worldrelief.org www.wewelcomerefugees.com
President/CEO – World Relief