Refugees

In 1980, a refugee crisis seized world headlines. Vietnamese were fleeing their county in anything that could float, and images of the "boat people" were seared into many peoples' hearts. Father Pedro Arrupe SJ, then-Superior General of the Society of Jesus, was one such person. He motivated Jesuits around the world to respond to the crisis, and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was born on 19 March 1980 when it was registered as a foundation in Vatican City.As it marks 35 years since its...
Pilgrims from the UK will have the opportunity to show their solidarity with Christians of the Middle East by taking part in a pilgrimage to Jordan to coincide with the Orthodox Easter. Among those leading the pilgrims will be Fr Dominic Robinson SJ of the Farm Street Church community in London.The ecumenical pilgrimage in April will focus on meeting and worshipping with the Christian communities in Jordan as they celebrate Holy Week and Easter together.  In Jordan, Catholic and Protestant...
The Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK has welcomed the report on immigration detention by the panel of cross-party MPs and Peers published today, calling it an “important milestone in the debate around the immigration detention practices of the UK”.  It also calls on the next government to implement the panel’s recommendation of a maximum detention period of 28 days and urges voters at the forthcoming General Election to hold politicians to account, letting them know that the current system...
Writing in the Spring 2015 edition of  Jesuits and Friends, Sarah Teather MP says engaging in debate is vital to help sow seeds of hope for refugees.Immigration looks set to dominate the forthcoming General Election campaign. And I do not expect it to be inspiring. In my constituency office (Brent Central) each day, I see the results of our tough immigration approach. Policy consequences walk in through my door with a human face and real back story – desperate, destitute asylum seekers who...
The Jesuit Refugee Service has added its voice to criticism of European states which are failing to protect migrants at risk on the Mediterranean. Last week, Amnesty International called on EU member states - especially France, Germany and the UK - to take action on EU migration, saying that more vigorous search and rescue systems were needed. Its call followed the deaths of up to 300 migrants in the Mediterranean last week and news that more than 2,000 migrants from Libya had been rescued by...
Sarah Teather MP is to join the International Advocacy team of the Jesuit Refugee Service. From 1 June 2015, she will become JRS’s advocacy adviser, focussing on the provision of education for refugee children in the Middle East and South Sudan.For nearly 12 years, Sarah Teather has represented the London constituency of Brent Central, the most ethnically diverse in the United Kingdom; she will stand down as a Member of Parliament in May. In addition to her time as an MP, Ms Teather has had a...
Joanne Boyce sings You are my Hands. Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world; yours are the feet with which he walks to do good; yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.Welcome to the audio version of a reflection guide, prepared by Jesuit Refugee Service UK with...
Lighting a candle in prayer for Migrants and Refugees
Let Us Pray on 18 January for Migrants and Refugees! Louise Zanré, Director of JRS UK, invites us to dedicate time this New Year to pray in solidarity with refugees who face the year ahead with uncertainty. This reflection first appeared in the Catholic Universe newspaper.For the people we accompany at Jesuit Refugee Service, a new year can be a time for dejection and tiredness, rather than filled with promise. A new year marks the passage of another year of waiting for a decision in an...
2015 sees the 101st World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be marked in the UK on Sunday, 18 January. Every year, the Pope issues a message on the theme of refugees and migrants which concludes with a blessing for them.  The message for this year is “The Church without frontiers, Mother to all”. In his message for the Day, Pope Francis says that the Church has a vital role in the breaking down of barriers and that it is not enough simply to tolerate people of different...
A refugee at a JRS class in Kenya: Christian Fuchs/JRS
Advent has always held a special place in my heart.  It is a special time of the year – one in which we prepare for Christmas and so traditionally think of family members, friends and loved ones. It is also a time of expectation and longing, of preparation and of waiting for Someone to come along with all of the promise of a new beginning, a new way of living and, of course, of eventual redemption. There is something particularly poignant about Advent and Christmas when...

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