According to Scott Arbeiter of World Relief, a refugee resettlement agency, there are currently 65 million displaced people in the world. Over 21 million people have fled to a different country, making them refugees. (Image the entire population of Illinois and Wisconsin moving to other states!) There are more refugees today than at any other time in history–and it’s getting worse. Every day, 35,000 people flee their homes.
Many of those fleeing end up in refugee camps where they will remain for an average of 17 years! And only 1% of refugees will ever resettled outside of the refugee camp. Currently, there are 2.7 million refugees in Jordan, 2.5 million in Turkey, 1.6 million in Pakistan and 1.5 million in Lebanon. By comparison, the United States has received 800,000 refugees over the past 16 years! And this year, by the president’s Executive Order, the total number of refugees allowed into the U.S. this year will be reduced from 110,000 to 50,000.
Though we often project the image of the U.S. as a compassionate country who welcomes refugees, the reality is that we resettle less than .024% of refugees.
At the end of Lent (April 15), Kimball Avenue Church will receive donations to help settle a refugee family in the Chicago area in conjunction with Refugee One, a Chicago resettlement organization. If you would like to make a contribution toward this project, please use the “Donate” link at the Church web page. (It will direct you to PayPal. Please indicate that your gift is for Refugees 2017.)