Special Sabbath highlights plight of refugees

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Maryland, United States

Let us challenge ourselves to examine our Christian response and attitude toward these groups.

The General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has designated Sabbath, June 18, as Adventist Church World Refugee Day.

President Ted Wilson is encouraging Adventist churches around the world to support the special day “to highlight the situation that so many people face and to help us consider our responsibility as Adventist Christians to help”.

“I would like to call our people to action on this matter—to unite in prayer for the 120 million refugees and internally displaced people around the world,” Dr Wilson said.

“Let us challenge ourselves to examine our Christian response and attitude toward these groups.”

Syrian refugees.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia has welcomed the special day—the date chosen being the closest Sabbath to the UN’s World Refugee Day on June 20.

“ADRA Australia has long campaigned for refugee issues in Australia and around the world, and has a long history assisting refugees who are fleeing, or who have fled, from violence in their home countries,” CEO Mark Webster said.

“Currently, ADRA offices throughout the Middle East and Europe are supporting refugees fleeing the ongoing Syrian civil war that has raged for more than five years.

“ADRA Australia currently funds a school in Lebanon for 120 Syrian refugee children. Education is a powerful tool to help these children gain skills and a hope for the future, and provides a welcome distraction from the horrors of war that they have witnessed.

“Closer to home, ADRA works with refugees and asylum seekers in Melbourne through the Settle Assist program to create opportunities for positive change and help with a smooth transition into a new life.”

A number of resources are available for use in local churches on this special Sabbath, including an ADRA video from a refugee camp in Idomeni on the Greek border (above). Go to <https://www.adventist.org/en/information/special-days>. Donations can be made at <adra.org.au/refugees>.