refugees

MESSAGE FOR WORLD PEACE DAY | Build peace by welcoming migrants, refugee

Pope Francis gave a reflection at a prayer service for peace in South Sudan and Congo Nov. 23 in St. Peter’s Basilica.

VATICAN CITY — Exploiting a fear of migrants and refugees for political gain increases the possibility of violence and discrimination and does nothing to build a culture of peace, Pope Francis stated in his message for World Peace Day 2018.

"Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia, which are matters of great concern for all those concerned for the safety of every human being," the pope stated in the message, which was released by the Vatican Nov. 24.

COMING OF AGE | Teens can share the journey of migrants and refugees

Of the 65.6 million displaced people in the world, 10.3 million became displaced in 2016, reported the United Nations refugee agency. This equates to one person becoming displaced every three seconds.

Many of these migrants, refugees and internally displaced people are children and teenagers. Yet often their journeys are invisible, and they are voiceless. Or, for some countries, they become just a number.

But these are human beings with lives and stories.

Aid workers see humanitarian crisis as Rohingya flee to Bangladesh

Exhausted Rohingya refugees rested on the shore in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, after crossing by boat through the Bay of Bengal Sept. 10.

OX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is bracing for a massive humanitarian crisis because of a lack of food, sanitation, medicines and even basic housing following the exodus of as many as 350,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, fleeing violence in which at least 1,000 were killed in just two weeks.

Archdiocese, others reach out with welcoming, loving hands

Several Catholic ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are organizing a "Solidarity Walk and Mass With Our Immigrant and Refugee Brothers and Sisters" on Saturday, April 8, from St. Louis University to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

Participants will assemble at noon at the Clock Tower on the SLU campus for an opening prayer. They then will embark on a prayerful procession west on Lindell Boulevard to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue, for a multilingual Mass at 1:30 p.m.

U.S. bishops ask Catholics to accompany migrants and refugees

A woman in New York walked Sept. 16 past hundreds of refugee life jackets collected from the beaches of Greece. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged Catholics to “not lose sight of the fact that behind every policy is the story of a person in search of a better life.”

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops in a pastoral reflection called all Catholics to do what each of them can "to accompany migrants and refugees who seek a better life in the United States."

Titled "Living as a People of God in Unsettled Times," the reflection was issued March 22 "in solidarity with those who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict or fear in their native lands," according to a news release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Egyptian priest praises Muslim support of threatened Christians

Displaced Egyptian Christian families, who used to live in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, sat near their belongings after arriving Feb. 24 at a church in Ismailia. Catholic churches in Ismailia, with help from Caritas, have helped Coptic Orthodox fleeing Islamic State attacks in North Sinai.

OXFORD, England — A spokesman for Egypt's Catholic Church praised local Muslims for helping embattled Christians after a series of Islamic State attacks in Sinai.

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, said Christians must differentiate between ordinary Muslims and extremists.

"Ordinary Muslims are kind and try to help however they can — they're often first on the scene, rescuing the injured and taking them to hospitals," he said March 3, as Christians continued to flee Egypt's North Sinai region.

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