Real People, Real Needs

June 20 is World Refugee Day, a day to remember the millions in our world who have been forcibly uprooted ...



World Refugee Day, a day to remember the millions in our world who have been forcibly uprooted by persecution and violence. Many will never be able to return home. Many will never be able to live in safety – unless a U.S. community takes them in. These are real people with real needs for protection:

Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta suggests that local churches celebrate World Refugee Day on a Sunday that fits their schedule. RRISA will try to find a board member or someone from the organization to speak or make a presentation at your church. Contact Tom Van Laningham at tom@rrisa.org.

World Refugee Day from LIRS on Vimeo.



World Refugee Day Resources
Underlined words are links.

Lutheran Immigration Services video

Sermon for Refugee Sunday doc from RRISA.

Bulletin Inserts and other resources from the Episcopal Church

Church World Services
Bulletin inserts, liturgical suggestions and information on Refugees and Resettlement

United Methodist Church
Liturgies, Hymn suggestions and Sermon Notes

Additional resources on refugees, including personal vignettes and articles from refugees and clergy

Presbyterian Church (USA)  Please see resources for Church World Service above

International and Ecumenical Worship Resources


KAIROS-Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

CAFOD: The Catholic Church in England and Wales

These websites contain comprehensive worship resources focusing on refugees and resettlement, including liturgy, sample sermons, follow-up activities, educational resources, and advocacy materials.

Real People, Real Needs
  • “Government authorities kept coming, saying, ‘Are you still here? Go! Otherwise we’ll put fire on your house.’ They were trying to kill us. We ran away in the nighttime.” Dambar, a husband and father from Bhutan, now living in Colorado
  • “I was a respected high school teacher back home. Here, I have been turned into a fugitive. At any moment I can get arrested for not having valid residency papers and be detained or deported.” Hala, a mother of four from Iraq, now living in a refugee camp in Lebanon
  • “I was raped by Burmese soldiers, by the traffickers who brought me to Malaysia, and by the Malaysian police. I want to die. I’m just staying alive for my family.”Mother of two from Burma, now living in a makeshift jungle camp
Even as we care for our own, let us continue to welcome refugees to our nation. Their very lives are at stake.
Local Organizations

RRISA Refugee Resettlement & Immigration Services of Atlanta
RefugeeFamilyServices
RefugeeWomen’sNetwork



Who is a Refugee?

A refugee is a person who, “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”

Defined at the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees

Refugee Facts
  • 14 million: Number of refugees & asylum seekers worldwide
  • 8.5 million:Refugees who have spent 10+ years in camps
  • 26 million:People forcibly displaced within their own countries
  • 60,192:Refugees resettled to the U.S. in Fiscal Year 2008
  • Middle East:Region with the largest number of refugees
  • 475,000+: Refugees CWS has resettled to the U.S. since 1946
Sources: Church World Service, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.


Church World Service and participating communions work together to protect and assist uprooted people worldwide. CWS provides help and homes to refugees, resettling about 8,000 refugees and entrants in the United States every year. Congregations and affiliate agencies provide services locally. Around the world, CWS helps meet the needs of people in protracted refugee situations through its Durable Solutions for Displaced Persons program. CWS also promotes policies and practices that support fairness, support, and welcome for the uprooted.

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