Refugees

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have been condemned by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). It has called upon the country and its leaders to show respect for and solidarity with each person – irrespective of their race or nationality.The statement by JRS follows attacks and fear of reprisals in KwaZulu-Natal province, Johannesburg and other parts of the country. Shop lootings and violence over the past two weeks have left five people dead and have displaced nearly 2,500 Malawian, Zimbabwean,...
Since January 2015, it is estimated that 2000 people have died by drowning in the Mediterranean Sea whilst trying to reach Europe.  Dozens more suffer major injuries in their attempts to cross the border between the Moroccan town of Nador and the Spanish enclave of Melilla.  Many of the victims include unaccompanied minors.  It was this desperate situation that led the European Jesuit Social delegates to choose Nador for their annual meeting.  In light of what they witnessed...
Pope Francis has described the "heartfelt pain" he feels for the hundreds of victims who are believed to have drowned while fleeing across the Mediterranean from North Africa. He called upon the international community to take swift and decisive action to avoid more tragedies of migrants seeking a better life.The Pope's plea was delivered after the Regina Coeli prayer in St Peter’s Square on Sunday morning. Addressing tens of thousands of people, he said: “They are men and women like us, our...
One of the leaders of a pilgrimage to Jordan over Orthodox Easter has described the visit to Our Lady's Mount Refugee Centre as “harrowing”. Fr Dominic Robinson SJ, a Jesuit based at Farm Street Church in London, says many of the pilgrims felt "powerless" when they met refugees being cared for at the Centre run by the Sons of Divine Providence and the experience opened their eyes to the suffering of people in the region who have been forced from their homes.“All are Christians expelled from...
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...

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