"I was a stranger and you welcomed me." (MT 25:35)
The need is great:
The political and
humanitarian crisis in Syria is a serious concern for the Catholic Church and
the bishops of the United States. In the past five years, at least four million
Syrians have fled their country as a consequence of the civil war and the rise
of ISIS. Most have fled to surrounding countries, especially Egypt, Lebanon,
Jordan, and Turkey, and many others have moved on to Europe with the hope of
finding a place of peace and safety. Pope Francis and the Catholic bishops have
called on the U.S. government and the international community to provide
support to both Syrian refugees fleeing violence and to countries that have been
at the forefront of this humanitarian effort. These recommendations include:
- Ending the
conflict in Syria and Iraq
- Building an
inclusive and lasting peace to allow Syrian refugees—also including those who
are ethnic and religious minorities-- to return home and rebuild their
humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring refugee
- Providing development
aid to refugee host countries near Syria so they are able to properly welcome and
care for the refugees.
- Providing 100,000
annual resettlement slots for the most vulnerable refugees fleeing the Syria
- Designating an
additional 100,000 refugees to be resettled in the U.S. from other countries.
How you can help:
- Pray that God provides his protection to Syrians and all other refugees displaced by violence and persecution.
- Write a letter
to President Obama, urging him expand U.S. resettlement efforts of Syrian
refugees who are fleeing unspeakable atrocities and violence.
- Urge your
member of Congress to provide urgently needed development aid for refugee host
countries near Syria that have heroically borne the brunt of the Syrian refugee
- Contact your local Catholic Charities agency to find
out if it has a resettlement program and, if so, how you can assist them in their effort to resettle refugees and help them
build new lives of hope here in the United States.
- Donate to the
Organized to Welcome Refugees (POWR) program, which provides parish and community
volunteers an opportunity to help sponsor newly-arriving Syrian and other
refugees and provide for their critical needs.
In a recent
statement, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, KY
and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged
" … all Catholics in the United States and
others of good will to express openness and welcome to these refugees, who are
escaping desperate situations in order to survive. Regardless of their
religious affiliation or national origin, these refugees are all human
persons—made in the image of God, bearing inherent dignity, and deserving our
respect and care and protection by law from persecution."
Please join the
many who are responding with open hearts to this call and keeping to the
longstanding American tradition of helping newcomers to our nation in their
hour of greatest need.