June 20 – World Refugee Day
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, under its international dimension in the five continents, on this WORLD REFUGEE DAY (June 20), joins the efforts of the United Nations, the Catholic Church, the Vincentian Family and from other international entities, expressing our indignation and rejection of the causes that provoke so much suffering to the refugees.
We request a deep reflection on the factors that cause the immigration of so many people, subjected to extreme risks of life. A concrete response from the international community is urgent, as is the search for solutions to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate immigrants and refugees” (Pope Francis).
We are witnesses of the highest levels of human displacement recorded in the world because of conflicts, wars or persecutions (some of them of religious origin). The refugees are forced to leave their homes, their lives, their jobs, their families and their cultures. More than half of these people are young people and children.
That is why humanitarian work is more important than ever. We want to reaffirm that people are not pieces of exchange of political interests and much less make them invisible in conflicts and wars between nations that, in some way, cause these serious situations.
We join the various Christian entities to the evangelical call of welcome: “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25, 35). We reaffirm our total support for the “Global Pact on Refugees” promoted by the UN, and we invite the SSVP Conferences to know and cooperate with this important world effort. This moment requires, in addition to prayers, concrete and immediate actions!
We thank the Vincentians who, throughout the world, are welcoming the refugee, offering them dignity, respect and affection, shaking a helping hand in this period of suffering in their lives.
Renato Lima de Oliveira
16th General President