Refugees

Churches Together in Westminster has secured the agreement and encouragement of Westminster City Council to resettle 50 Syrian refugees in central London. The announcement was made by Fr Dominic Robinson SJ at the end of a Carol Service at Farm Street Jesuit Church in Mayfair. It was held to support the suffering Church in Syria and Iraq and helped to raise more than £2,000 for Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).The places for refugees in the capital will be provided with assistance from...
Almost 3,500 migrants have been killed this year on the Mediterranean Sea as they have attempted to find better lives in Europe, according to figures from the UNHCR. Many of the 207,000 trying to make the crossing on unseaworthy boats have been from Eritrea or Syria. Yet the international community has offered them limited support, says the United Nations’ refugee agency. Italy has suspended its Mare Nostrum sea rescue mission that previously saved lives and the EU’s limited...
The Jesuits of Africa have committed themselves to upholding the rights of migrants and refugees and to continuing their work of responding to their needs. Meeting before the World Social Forum on Migration in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 5-8 December 2014, the Social Apostolate of the Jesuit Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) held a pre-forum meeting to share their experiences of working with refugees, and to define priorities so that they could offer an effective global response...
Photography enables asylum seekers to feel they have a future and to have hope. That is the message from a member of the Jesuit Refugee Services UK’s Men4Men discussion group who attends the JRS-UK Day Centre in Wapping, East London.Writing in the autumn 2014 edition of Justice, ‘Sebastien’ describes photography as being like “a message from the future” and says it is empowering him to move forward. His photographs were displayed in an exhibition over the...
A colloquium will take place in Rome tomorrow to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the foundation of the Jesuit Refugee Service. Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See's Press Office, will discuss the challenges of the reception of refugees with Fr Adolfo Nicolás, Superior General of the Society of Jesus, in an event co-organised by JRS International and Centro Astalli entitled Hospitality on the frontiers.The colloquium will be an opportunity to explore the concept of refugee...
The Jesuit Refugee Service has described the UK’s decision to stop supporting operations that save migrants at danger in the Mediterranean as ‘nonsensical’ and ‘unconscionable’. The agency was responding to Foreign Office minister Baroness Anelay’s  statement this week that the current search and rescue operations to prevent migrants drowning in the Mediterranean Sea can encourage more people to attempt to make the dangerous sea crossing to enter Europe...
An evening of song, poetry and prayer in Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic and English helped to raise more than £1,700 for the Jesuit Refugee Service’s Aid for Syrian refugees. The Call to Prayer with neighbours from the Middle East took place at Farm Street Church in central London. It brought together poets, singers and musicians from a variety of traditions from the Eastern Rite and Western Churches, as well as friends from the Jewish and Muslim communities.Among the musicians who took...
The Jesuit Refugee Service UK (JRS-UK) has shared its experience of immigration detention with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Refugees and Migration with a view to improving the conditions under which refugees are detained. Chaired by Sarah Teather MP, the APPG invited written evidence from a broad range of stakeholders, including charities and voluntary organisations working with detainees as well as government representatives and civil servants. It also asked for the views of...
The Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta has been named as one of three finalists shortlisted for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2014. Meeting yesterday (26 August) in Prague, the panel that selects the prize winner also named B'Tselem, which works in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, defending the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians, and Azerbaijani human rights activist Anar Mammadli.The Václav Havel Award for Human Rights is an international award established in 2013...
The Jesuit Superior General, Fr Adolfo Nicolás SJ, has appointed Fr Thomas Smolich SJ as the International Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). He will take over from Fr Peter Balleis SJ in November 2015.Fr Smolich has been President of the Jesuit Conference of the United States for the past eight years. He says he is “deeply honoured and grateful” for this appointment “because JRS really speaks to the heart of Jesuit identity and our Jesuit mission. It's going...

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