JRS

Indian Jesuit Fr Alexis Prem Kumar SJ has been released by the Taliban after eight months in captivity.  Fr Prem had worked for three years  as Afghanistan country director for Jesuit Refugee Service in Herat province when he was abducted by gunmen in June last year. The release of Fr Kumar was negotiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who tweeted earlier today:  “Have spoken to Father Alexis Prem Kumar. Informed happy family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of his safe...
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...
On 8 February the Catholic Church celebrated the first International day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Slavery.  The date was chosen because it is the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave, who became a Canossian nun. St Josephine Bakhita was born on 8 February 1869 in Sudan to a wealthy family.  She was kidnapped by slave traders at the age of six and given the name of Bakhita (meaning Lucky One).  She was sold and resold in the markets of El...
The Jesuit Institute South Africa has called for an end to xenophobia in the country, saying it is a “shameful phenomenon”.  With its partner organisation, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), it says xenophobic violence should be addressed by systematic civic education and by facing the social, economic and political cocktail that leads to fear, hopelessness and anger.The statement from the Jesuit Institute and JRS follows recent violent attacks on and looting of foreign nationals’ shops in...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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