Our commitment to welcome refugees
13 November 2017

Fr Nawras Sammour SJ, a native of Aleppo, Syria is currently serving as JRS Regional Director for the MIddle East. (Cedric Prakash SJ/Jesuit Refugee Service)

We at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) MENA Region, draw our inspiration and commitment from the person and message of Jesus who reminds us, "I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill, and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me. I assure you, as often as you did it for the least among you, you did it for me" (Mtw. 25: 35-40).

For us, a refugee/a forcibly displaced person is our sister, our brother. We at JRS reach out to them in every way possible:  through providing them a variety of services, in accompanying them and in advocating for their legitimate rights.

Pope Francis has provided the Church with exemplary leadership in the welcome, care and concern for all refugees and forcibly displaced. He has been unequivocal in his stand and has consistently challenged all Christians and others to be more proactive and positive in reaching out to these our vulnerable sisters and brothers.

On 15 August, Pope Francis gave to the Church and the world, his message for the ‘104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2018’ that will be observed on 14 January 2018 on the theme ‘Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating Migrants and Refugees’. He begins this message with a quote from the Book of Leviticus, “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Lv 19:34); besides, he emphatically states that, “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ.”

Today, we celebrate the memory of the late Fr Pedro Arrupe, the former Superior General of the Society of Jesus. It is his birth anniversary (1907-91) and on this day in 1980, he founded the JRS as an urgent and necessary response to the cries and suffering of the millions of refugees and displaced in South-East Asia. We continue whole-heartedly today to help realise his vision.

Above all, we make it evidently clear, that we stand with the teachings of Christ and his Church and our response to the cries and reality of the refugees and displaced, is one of welcome, compassion, inclusiveness and solidarity.

Press Contact Information
Cedric Prakash SJ