WORLD REFUGEE DAY is June 20, 2012!
The United Nations World Refugee Day honours the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children forced to flee their homelands under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
The number of forcibly displaced people around the world has reached a 15-year high, with the vast majority languishing in poor countries that are ill-equipped to cater to their needs. At the end of 2011, it was estimated that around the world there were 43.7 million refugees and people displaced within their countries by events such as war and natural disasters. More than half of the total were children. That figure does not take into account the new wave of migration and displacement set in motion by the upheaval of the Arab Spring.
World Refugee Day is a Day to recognize the contributions of refugees in our communities. It provides an invitation for each of us to take action on behalf of refugees.
The Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto would like to encourage community of the faithful to mark the day with prayer. Consider including, in your prayer of petitions for the faithful, a prayer to help give hope and courage to the lives and struggles of refugees around the world, especially those now in Syria.
We trust in the Spirit to lead us forward in the goals of dignity and safety for all. We thank each of you, in your work on behalf of refugees. Let us support one another and carry on faithfully this ministry of hope entrusted to our care.
May God our Creator be praised as we recognize one another as neighbour; may Christ the Redeemer liberate and lead home all who are lost or in danger; may the Spirit of Life unite us as one planetary family filled with mutual respect and all inclusive love for each other and for our earth. Amen.
Yours in solidarity with all refugees,