Monday (June 20) marks World Refugee Day. In honor of the day, the United Nations has released statistics detailing that the refugee crisis has now affected 65.3 million people worldwide.
According to The Christian Post, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated that the 65.3 million refugees accounted for at the end of 2015 represents a five million person increase from the previous year. This translates to one in 113 people who are now affected by the refugee crisis.
Various humanitarian organizations marked World Refugee Day by sharing refugees’ stories and encouraging individuals and governments to help those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict in their home country.
The majority of the world’s refugees are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia, although many are also from Iraq.
Many of the refugees have fled to neighboring countries such as Turkey, Pakistan, and Lebanon. Additionally, over a million migrated to Europe. The influx of refugees into Europe and other western nations has sparked intense debate about border security.
One refugee mother says that her children constantly have nightmares about finding their father’s dead body after a bomb hit their home.
“My husband was killed when our farm was bombed a few months ago. My three kids and I found his body. I feel so helpless to protect and comfort them because I know they can never un-see what they've seen,” the woman stated.
Some ministries, such as Open Doors, are especially concerned with aiding Christian refugees, who often face intense persecution for their faith.
Over 7.6 million Christians have been displaced since the Syrian Civil War began. The number of Christians in the region has drastically lessened, going from two million in 2003 to only a few thousand currently.
“Open Doors has been on the ground in this region for over two decades, partnering with persecuted Christians and enabling them to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to their communities,” stated the ministry. “While other organizations have left, as many were not expecting this to be a long-term crisis, Open Doors is equipped to be there for the long haul.”
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: June 20, 2016