The European Refugee migration is a huge project involving many governments and agencies. A representative from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has said that world-wide in 2015 there were 60 million forcibly displaced persons. "Every minute eight people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror." Millions just from Syria. ADRA and our Church organizations serve as partners in helping these refugees as they transit from country to country through Europe until they arrive at a place where they can “settle.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Church will participate in the World Refugee Day this year which is a day established by the United Nations for June 20. We are suggesting that we use Sabbath, June 18, as the World Refugee Day for the Adventist Church. (Or perhaps we should localize our day to the European Refugee situation.) I was asked to work with the General Conference to see if we could get this into the planning. The purposes of this special day would be to:
1. Inform the world church of the crisis in Europe and what our church is doing to help.
2. Encourage prayer for the refugees and the workers/volunteers who are active in this life or death situation.
3. To share some stories/reports of individuals and families to humanize the situation.
4. To help us as a church to think through the way we should relate to refugees based on our Seventh-day Adventist theology and values.
5. Convey needs where our members might wish to help, including donations for the work that is being done.
6. In the words of Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations): "On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere."
Videos about ADRA Europe's mission for Refugees: