Yesterday, June 20th, was World Refugee Day.
At the Sabra refugee camp in Beirut, 12-year old Abdul Jabar Satouf lives with his grandmother Khadija and other family members, and works about 48 hours a week as a mechanic’s apprentice.
“I’m learning something new. This is my new life,” Satouf told Al Jazeera.
Satouf was sent to Lebanon from Syria by his father to help feed his family of nine. His grandmother told Al Jazeera that their situation in Lebanon is like a “death sentence”.
“Hunger, no respect, humiliation, we don’t have any money,” she said.
The UNHCR reported that one in three people in Lebanon is a refugee, and more than half are children.
Meanwhile, persecution and conflict in places such as Syria and Afghanistan raised the total number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide to a record 65.3 million at the end of last year.
Turkey was the “top host” country for the second year running, taking in 2.5 million people – nearly all from neighbouring Syria. Afghan neighbour Pakistan had 1.6 million, while Lebanon hosted at least 1.1 million.
According to the UNHCR report, on average, 24 people were displaced every minute of every day last year, which amounts to 34,000 people a day, and more than half of all refugees came from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
- Pray for refugees across the world, so many of them in refugee camps or temporary accommodation, with little immediate hope of being resettled anytime soon.
- Pray for the churches and Christian NGO’s working in refugee camps and amongst refugee resettlement programmes. Pray for strength and grace day by day as they work in often difficult circumstances to bring relief and hope and the love of Christ to these desperate people.
- Pray for the many refugees that have come to know Christ through the witness of Christians and Churches. Pray for their protection, and for opportunities for discipleship and encouragement amongst other believers.
- Pray for more countries to be willing to resettle refugees.
- Pray for peace across the Middle East and North Africa, and for a move of the Holy Spirit in these nations to bring healing and restoration of hope for their people.
Psalm 82 vs 3: “Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.”