Support the Café

Search our Site

The Syrian refugee crisis and how you can respond.

The Syrian refugee crisis and how you can respond.

Episcopal Migration Ministries says that the Syrian refugee crisis is the largest forced displacement of people in the world today with 9.5 million people displaced, including 3.2 million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.

The Syrian government has targeted violence and persecution against the country’s Sunni Muslim majority, the group that formed and fed the uprising. More recently, Islamic State has targeted Christians, Shia Muslims, and other religious minorities within the region, including Yazidis in Iraq and Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. Women and girls face violence at the hands of all conflict actors, most notably sexual and gender based violence in both Syria and countries of first asylum.

While 6.3 million Syrians remain highly vulnerable as internally displaced persons (IDPs), with less access to protection and humanitarian aid than refugees, millions of Syrians have crossed the borders into Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon. These countries are bearing the burden of caring for millions of Syrians in need but they cannot continue to carry these burdens alone.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said:

The situation in Syria continues to evolve. The death and violence that have been wrought on the Syrian people are a humanitarian tragedy of the first order…The Episcopal Church and its people continue to pray for the people of Syria, of all religious traditions and none, and we call on the world to help find responses that will result in more abundant life for every citizen of that nation.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Justin Welby, calls for a “pan-European” response to the crisis and says:

This is a hugely complex and wicked crisis that underlines our human frailty and the fragility of our political systems.

My heart is broken by the images and stories of men, women and children who have risked their lives to escape conflict, violence and persecution.

We cannot turn our backs on this crisis. We must respond with compassion. But we must also not be naive in claiming to have the answers to end it.

Here are suggestions as to what you can do to help from EMM

Learn more:

UNHCR Syria Regional Response: The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) maintains this web portal for aid groups in the region to share information and coordinate response.
Refugees From Syria, Cultural Orientation Backgrounder: This backgrounder provides more information about the unique experiences, trauma, and needs of the Syrian refugee population.

Hear the stories:

Woman Alone, UNHCR Graphic Report
Do you see what I see?, UNHCR Photographic Project with children and youth
No Escape for Syrian Civilians, Report, International Rescue Committee

and via the Guardian.

Here is a country by country summary from CNN of how different nations are reacting. The map that shows where many migrants are coming from and what different nations are doing, but note that the map does not show the responses in Jordan, Turkey, or Lebanon.

CNN-map-migrant-crisis-exlarge- Sep 4 2015


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This calamity deserves a response just like the earthquake in Haiti or the Ebola epidemic! The US needs to become involved and send help:
Wish list: hospital ship, small boats, portapotties, diapers, any respite requested!

[Welcome first time commenter – for future comment to be approved, please note our policy requiring first and last name.]

S.B. Carr

Seriously, Rod? This is not about who has the most, best or biggest. All information must be presented with the refugees interests alone. No “however”s, please.

Rod Gillis

The voices of church leaders make a contribution to the formation of public opinion in the midst of this crisis. However, episcopal voices are not the only ones, or even the most insightful ones, coming from the church. Below is a link to the forthcoming October editorial ( available on line now) from the Anglican Journal by the paper’s editor Marites Sison. The article, among other things, speaks of the apathy of rich nations in the face of the worst refugee crisis since the end of WWII.

Philip B. Spivey

Thank you, Rod. I guess what’s missing from TEC response is a call on the people of the United States—by way of Congress—for us to do our fair share. How many migrants are we willing to welcome—the Word made flesh?

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café