04 September 2015
5 ways the Church can respond to the refugee crisis
Evangelical Alliance rallies Church to respond to refugee crisis
The Evangelical Alliance has called on its member churches to respond with prayer, practical care and compassion to the refugee crisis which has dominated the news this week.
Writing to all congregations Steve Clifford, general director of the Alliance, said: “When we see the horrific reality of the suffering endured by so many, as we have this week, we are provoked towards compassion in response.”
Clifford went on to challenge the Church to act: “We want the UK to be a place of refuge, but we also want our churches to be beacons of hospitality and our homes full of warmth and welcome.”
The Evangelical Alliance recognises the complexity of the situation, and realises many may not agree on the best solution. However, it also believes the gravity of the situation demands our attention. From Syria alone there are now more than four million refugees, and across the world more than 60 million displaced people.
The letter, sent to all member churches as well as thousands of supporters and member organisations, provides five actions in response to the scenes witnessed this week.
- Pray: the Evangelical Alliance’s director of prayer has written a prayer which can be used at services this weekend to focus attention on the refugee crisis and our response.
- Give: many relief and development organisations are working in Syria and surrounding countries and their special funds provide an opportunity to give towards practical assistance. These include Tearfund, World Vision UK and Open Doors.
- Open: whether it’s through linking a rental property with a local authority to house resettled refugees or providing a spare room, are there ways we can use what we have to help those in need? Citizens UK are campaigning for local authorities to agree to resettle more refugees, and Home for Good are collecting names of potential foster carers for unaccompanied minors.
- Act: many charities work with refugees in the UK, one opportunity for people to get involved and provide support is through mentoring young people to support them in education.
- Campaign: while there are significant complexities to this current crisis, and the many surrounding issues, we cannot be silent. The Evangelical Alliance is calling for its members to contact MPs across the UK asking them to speak up in support of refugees.
Commenting on the letter, Steve Clifford added: “The Church is passionate about helping those in greatest need, and this is an opportunity to put that passion into action. We also want to pray for wisdom and compassion as the government takes decisions about welcoming refugees into the UK, as well as addressing the significant underlying challenges across the globe.”
Tel: 07766 444 650
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.