From 17 to 23 June, people from all around the world observed Refugee Week for 2019.
In a Heartland eNews issued on 21 June, LCA Bishop John Henderson reflected on the impact of the issue in Australia, New Zealand and around the world, and how it interacts with politics and faith.
Bishop Henderson said, ‘The sheer numbers of internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers and “irregular migrants” in the world today are overwhelming’ and that the numbers are unlikely to decrease.
Refugee Week is an opportunity for everyone to recognise those who have come to their country and to also consider and question the many challenges that refugees face.
He said, ‘Many Australians, New Zealanders, and citizens of other wealthy countries worry about refugees and asylum seekers from places plagued by war, injustice and poverty entering their community. What will it mean for us that they come to stay in our country?’
Bishop Henderson urged followers of Jesus in wealthy nations like ours to reflect on the extent to which their thinking on refugees and asylum seekers mirrors the fearful and self-interested pattern that is common in our broader society.
He challenged Christians to consider the gospel message and remember that ‘Jesus calls us to a different way of thinking’. He encouraged Christians to support and pray for refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers around the world.
‘As we learn to trust in our heavenly Father’s generous love and care for us, the more free and generous we become, doing what is right for our neighbours in need, and acting as Christ to them.’