Conflict, persecution, climate change and environmental degradation, natural disaster, and the global financial crisis have led to unprecedented movements of people across the world. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reports state that in 2011 there were 42.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world, 26.4 million of them internally displaced people (IDPs), with 15.2 million refugees, and 895,000 asylum seekers.
Migrants are people who move from their home to another place. This may be internal migration - movement within a country - or international migration where migrants leave their country to live in another country, often seeking more money and a better life for their children. Unlike refugees, migrants are free to return home if they should wish to because, although they may be very poor, their lives are not in danger. These types of migrants are often called economic migrants.
Across the Anglican Communion, many church communities are already supporting migrants, internally displaced people, and refugees in successful ways. The Anglican Refugee and Migrant Network (ARMN) seeks to develop collaborative, Communion-wide strategies based on the information collected from the individual Provinces and relevant agencies within the Anglican Communion. A global mapping is being undertaken by the coordinator to assess the situation. Reports are being gathered from around the Communion to facilitate networking among Anglicans who are involved in mission and ministry surrounding refugees and migrants, as well as to enhance international awareness and support of local initiatives. These reports will enable the Network to identify key priorities in moving forward.
ARMN would be very grateful to receive as much information as possible regarding migrants, internally displaced people and/or refugees in individual dioceses or areas. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any pertinent information including, but not limited to:
- a description of the local situation with any available statistics
- accounts of particular challenges faced locally by children, women and men who are now living away from their country or place of origin – and also by host communities
- the church’s mission and ministry among, or on behalf of, migrants, internally displaced people and/or refugees, such as:
- helping congregations to become aware of global situations giving rise to the displacement of people and the gospel imperative to respond to those in need
- providing pastoral care
- providing opportunities for worship to migrants/refugees
- offering practical support
- advocating on behalf of refugees and migrants.