Leaders of numerous EFC affiliates, facilitated by the EFC, are engaged in a response to the refugee crisis currently taking place worldwide. This increased co-ordination of responses began as a Middle East Refugees Resettlement Initiative in connection with Canada's offer of settlement assistance to at least 25,000 displaced persons from Syria and Iraq in 2015-2016.
These frequently asked questions may be helpful to church leaders considering participation in the Initiative:
1. Why would our congregation become involved in the Refugees Resettlement Initiative?
As we seek to bless in the name of Jesus those who are suffering in the world, we put Jesus' call to follow him into action. The EFC's issue summary on refugees begins with a basic biblical principle: "As Christians, we are called to care for our neighbour, and to protect the vulnerable, the needy and the oppressed ... Throughout Scripture, God specifically commands us to treat the alien with justice and compassion. Leviticus 24:22 instructs: "When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong ... you shall love him as yourself."
You may also find it useful to view an 18-page resource which expands on these themes, developed in 1998 by the EFC's Social Action Commission: Love the Sojourner: An Exploration of the World Refugee Situation and How the EFC Might Respond.
2. My congregation would like to get involved in resettling refugees from Syria and Iraq or elsewhere. What do I do now?
Check this list
to see if your denomination or associated organization is a participant in this initiative. Your denominational/organizational contact will introduce you to the next step. If your denomination is not part of this initiative, check the same list
to see a list of organizations that will be able to assist you.
3. How can I help my congregation prepare to welcome refugees? What are some recommended resources?
You may also find helpful these resources produced by government and other agencies:
4. Are there other congregations in our area with whom we could collaborate in resettling refugees in our community?
Your denominational or group contact may know of other sponsors in your area; you may also contact the EFC to indicate your interest in connecting with other local sponsors.