Member Church News: Refugee Crisis in Europe

The WCRC has issued a call to its member churches to pray and act on the refugee crisis in Europe. Many of the WCRC’s member churches are already deeply involved in the issue. Below are just a few links to stories and resources from members and ecumenical partners.

The Hungarian Reformed Church has a page devoted to the refugees which includes many of their stories. The RCH has also issued a statement on the refugee situation in Hungary.

The Reformed Church of Bern-Jura-Solothurn (Switzerland) has a publication called Seven Principles for Migration Policies (in German).

Paul Oppenheim, an advisor in the WCRC’s Hannover, Germany, office, has shared an essay about the crisis, focusing on “the German problem” (in German).

The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe is promoting the creation of safe and legal paths to assist those traveling to Europe.

The World Council of Churches is encouraging European churches to work together to address refugee crisis and has published The “Other” Is My Neighbour: Developing an Ecumenical Response to Migration.

Within Canada, the Christian Reformed Church has a variety of opportunities to engage in ministry with refugees. And the CRC’s relief and recovery service, World Renew, has an introductory video called Journey With Refugees which also suggests ways to assist.

The CRC’s Office of Social Justice has shared the following prayer (and also has additional resources on immigration and refugees):

O God, our help in ages past,
it was you who led the Israelites through the wilderness,
a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day.

We pray that you will guide the vulnerable and desperate migrants
who today search out new hope and new life.
As they search for a way out,
as they board ships and trucks and cross fences,
as they carry children and walk for miles,
protect them, Lord.

Our hope for years to come,
you created all people to flourish
to live in safety, to find meaning, to experience love, to seek after you.

We pray for those who have lost hope, safety, love, and faith.
We pray for parents whose children have been lost or have died.
We pray for children who are going without food, water, and safety.
We pray for communities abandoned and for communities overwhelmed.
Oh God, bring miraculous and life-giving hope.

Our shelter from the stormy blast,
you are the one who brings peace.
You are our mother hen, protecting us under your wings.

We pray for an end to the tyranny of ISIS and to the violence in Syria.
Protect those who haven’t yet found a way to leave.
We pray for the hearts of those who are intent to kill.
We pray for the eyes of the world to turn toward this war.
Give wisdom to the leaders who must choose how to facilitate peace.

Our eternal home,
in you we find life and providence,
for this life and for the next.

For those who have lost everything, we pray you will rebuild their lives.
For those desperate for a new home, open the doors to safer places.
For those longing for the basic necessities of life, restore their material goods.
For those whose communities and families have been ripped apart, strengthen new bonds of friendship.
And for the church, near and far, which worships in safety today — inspire us to welcome the stranger.
Help us to discern how to reach out to refugees in acts of mercy and how to help them seek justice for long-term hope.


And in Spanish:

Oh, Dios, nuestra ayuda en tiempos pasados,
tú guiaste a los israelitas a través del desierto,
una columna de fuego de noche y una nube durante el día.

Te pedimos que guíes a quienes migran, vulnerables y desesperados,
buscando hoy nuevas esperanzas y nueva vida.
Protégelos, Señor,
en su búsqueda de salidas,
al subir a los botes y a los camiones
y al cruzar las fronteras,
al cargar a sus niños y niñas,
caminando tantos kilómetros.

Esperanza para los tiempos por venir,
tú creaste todos los pueblos para que florezcan,
para que vivan en seguros y encuentren sentido,
para experimentar el amor, para encontrarte.

Te pedimos por quienes han perdido la esperanza,
la seguridad, el amor y la fe.
Oramos por padres y madres que han perdido a sus hijos e hijas
o que los han visto morir.
Intercedemos por los niños y niñas que deambulan
sin alimento, sin agua, sin seguridades.
Oramos por las comunidades abandonadas
y por las comunidades agobiadas.
Oh, Dios, obra milagros y una esperanza generadora de vida.

Nuestra protección en la tormenta cruel,
tú eres el único que trae paz.
Como la madre con sus polluelos,
protégenos bajo tus alas.

Oramos por el fin de la tiranía de ISIS
y por el fin de la violencia en Siria.
Protege a quienes no han encontrado aún un modo de escapar.
Te pedimos por los corazones de quienes buscan matar a otros.
Oramos por los ojos del mundo, para que miren esta guerra.
Concede sabiduría a los líderes que deben resolver cómo facilitar la paz.

Nuestro eterno hogar,
en tí hallamos vida y providencia
para ésta vida y para la que viene.

Te pedimos que reconstruyas las vidas de quienes lo han perdido todo.
Abre las puertas de lugares seguros
para quienes están desesperados y desesperadas por un nuevo hogar.
Restaura los bienes materiales de quienes anhelan acceder
a las necesidades elementales para la vida.
Fortalece nuevos lazos de amistad en aquellas comunidades y familias
que han sido desgarradas y separadas.
Inspira a nuestras Iglesias, lejanas o cercanas,
donde aún podemos celebrar en libertad y seguridad,
a recibir al forastero, a la forastera.
Ayúdanos a discernir cómo acercarnos a quienes buscan refugio
con gestos concretos de misericordia
y a ayudarlos a buscar justicia perdurable con esperanza.


(Translation courtesy of Red Crearte)

Image courtesy of ACT Alliance, taken by Fekete Dániel.

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