How Christians Can Help Refugees and Displaced People

In June 2019 the UN Refugee Agency reported that nearly 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide. According to the BBC, this is the highest number of displaced people the agency has ever recorded. As Christians, we are called to welcome and love the strangers in our midst. We are called to care for those who have been persecuted. Yet when the need is so great, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are some tangible ways that you can help refugees and displaced people.

Pray

for refugees and their homelands

Only God can end the refugee crisis. Only God can bring the healing and peace our world needs. But God hears your prayers. This makes your prayers an important form of advocacy. Through prayer, you can advocate for healing, peace, and safety that only God can provide.

— PRAY FOR —

The top refugee producing countries

Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia

— PRAY FOR —

The top asylum seeker producing countries

Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo

— PRAY FOR —

The countries with the highest number of internally displaced people:

Colombia, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Ethiopia

— PRAY FOR —

God's peace

That God’s peace would be found in the conflicted nations and regions in the world

— PRAY FOR —

Safety

That there might be safety for every person who is forced to flee their home

— PRAY FOR —

The body of Christ

That in every part of the world, we will extend hospitality to refugees and displaced people

Advocate

for refugees and displaced people

The journey from fleeing a community that is no longer safe to settling in a new home is often long, difficult, and dangerous. You can advocate for governmental policies that make finding refuge safer and more accessible to those who need it.

Local/State/National Legislators

Contact your local, state and national legislators to learn about their views on immigration, displaced people and international humanitarian aid, and encourage their support of legislation that provides for the safety and security of those in our world who are forcibly displaced and are seeking refuge.

Find your legislators

Church World Service

Sign up for CWS alerts

CRC Office of Social Justice

Connect with CRC Office of Social Justice and sign up for their action alerts. For Canadian residents, connect with the CRC Centre for Public Dialogue and sign up for their action alerts.

Sign up for CRC alerts

Welcome

refugees and immigrants in your community

Biblical hospitality is extending privilege across difference. It’s treating outsiders like insiders. Refugees and immigrants who come to your community are outsiders. Their life experiences, language, and cultural background are probably different than yours. But through hospitality, you can make your community a welcoming place for them to build a new home.

4 ways you can welcome the stranger

Participate in refugee resettlement in your local community. Contact your local refugee resettlement agency for more information.

Reach out to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in your community and build authentic relationships with them. Assist them in making sure that every day needs are met.

Create a culture of welcoming and hospitality to refugees and displaced people in your church, local schools and medical facilities, libraries and other municipal buildings, etc.

Start an ELL (English language learner) or ESL (English as a second language) class in your church or community.

Partner

with organizations focused on helping refugees

There are many organizations committed to ministry with refugees and displaced people. You can increase the impact of this important work by getting involved.

Church World Service

provides many services related to the care of refugees and displaced people, including refugee resettlement and advocacy.

CRC Office of Social Justice

has resources for education and worship focused on immigration and refugee issues, as well as an advocacy center.

CRC Centre for Public Dialogue

has resources for education and worship focused on immigration and refugee issues, as well as an advocacy center.

Partners Relief & Development

joins with communities impacted by war and oppression to strengthen families, meet their needs in times of crisis, and create nurturing environments that allow children to reach their full potential.

Your local refugee resettlement agency.

CWS, Bethany Christian Services and Interfaith-RISE all provide refugee resettlement services and would appreciate partnering with you.

JJ TenClay

Reformed Church in America missionary and Refugee Ministries Coordinator for RCA Global Mission, to discern how God might be calling you, your church, or your community to care for refugees and displaced people.

Give

to organizations and ministries focused on refugees and displaced people

Helping refugees settle safely in new homes requires resources. Your generosity with your time, talent, and financial contributions can make a big difference.

— VOLUNTEER —

Volunteer or give to agencies who provide services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. CWS, Bethany Christian Services and Interfaith-RISE all provide refugee resettlement services if you’re looking for a place to start.

— DONATE —

Financially support missionaries ministering with refugees and displaced people, including:

Donate new and gently-used clothing and housewares to local refugee resettlement agencies.

— CREATE —

Start a new ministry serving the needs of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in your church, or allow non-profit agencies who provide services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers to use your church facilities.