June 20: World Refugee Day

With this year’s WDP focus in immigrant and migrant people, we felt it was especially important to lift up World Refugee Day.  Each year on June 20th the United Nations and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day.

World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Millions need your help.

Most people in America don’t realize – there are over 43.7 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world and of those, UNHCR provides lifesaving assistance and protection to 34 million of them.

Imagine being the mother of a sick and hungry child and having to decide between risking your life staying in a conflict or leaving behind everything in search of safety. UNHCR provides tents, shelter, supplies and life-saving services to refugees – 80% are women and children. Millions of refugees need help all around the world – 1 family torn apart by war is too many.

You can watch refugees tell their stories on this United Nations website, which also have several good ideas for taking action.

And here is a prayer you might use today, or in your worship service on Sunday, to remember refugees, and all who are forced to leave their homes, just like Jesus and his family once were.  Find more worship resources on the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service website.

A Prayer for Refugees

Our Gracious Lord,

There are many in Your world today who have been forced from their homes by persecution and violence.

Keep them in your constant care, and bring them to a place of safety.

Be the Good Shepherd to refugees who are in flight. Guide them to the green pastures of safety.

Be the Everlasting Father to refugees who have lost home and loved ones. Lead, protect and provide for them.

Be the Great Physician to refugees who are suffering. Grant them healing and hope.

Be the Hiding Place to refugees who are languishing in camps. Shelter their souls as well as their bodies.

Be the Deliverer to refugees who have been able to return home. Restore their lives so that those who have sown in tears may reap in joy.

Be the Wonderful Counselor to refugees who have been resettled. Help them find their way in a new land.

Be the Giver of all good gifts to those who serve refugees. Empower them to do justice and love mercy and walk humbly with You.

Be the Lord of lords to all the earth, that those who rule would do so in justice and righteousness, and no one would have to become a refugee anymore.

We ask these things in the precious and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

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