Advocacy, Justice, Vulnerable People & The Bible
World Relief’s commitment to advocacy for justice on behalf of the poor and oppressed is based on biblical truths and on the example of Jesus. Scripture constantly emphasizes the importance of showing compassion (Matthew 25:31-46), seeking justice (Isaiah 58:1-14), defending what is right (Proverbs 31:8), and showing mercy (Micah 6:8).
World Relief seeks to follow the example of Christ, who intervenes on our behalf to God, as our advocate. Because of Christ’s love and support of us, we receive freedom and eternal life. As Christians we are called to be Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), representing Christ to the world and speaking on His behalf. For this reason, we also defend those who are oppressed, weak and who do not have a voice of their own, whether in Darfur, Burma or the US, just as Christ defends us.
What Does This Mean Today?
Advocacy is not just responding to individual needs, but influencing policies and structures that create poverty and oppress God’s children. World Relief continues to educate and mobilize churches on the important issues of our day and speak out to those in positions of influence so that the vulnerable, oppressed and poor will receive the dignity, rights, and freedom God desires for them. On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed a new Executive Order into efffect. This order will have several profound impacts on the work World Relief does and the vulnerable people we seek to serve. Among some of the items in this EO are: a complete halt on Syrian refugees, a four month moratorium on refugee resettlement (beginning in February) and a reduction in America's annual refugee cap from 110,000 down to 50,000. These changes will have immense negative impacts on both the refugees we already serve in America and those overseas still waiting for resettlement. Today we are seeing some of the worst humanitarian crises to exist and we see a need for advocacy, now more than ever.
We are Pro-Refugee and Pro-Security
"Our mission is to empower the church to serve the most vulnerable. When public policy poses a threat to either or both of these mandates, we feel obligated to use our voice. We seek to do so wisely and with respect for the leadership whose authority we live under. Nonetheless, we consider it part of our calling not to stay silent when important matters are at stake."
"If we consider some of the great movements of the past centuries, it is the people of God who were central in changing public policy on the abolition of slavery, the care of orphans, improvements in the quality and availability of public health, and education. We do not believe that our Christian faith excuses us from the public discourse but in fact demands it".
Read our full statement on being Pro-Refugee and Pro-security here.
How can you be an advocate?
With all of these changes, many of you are asking the question, "What can I do?" 1. We are encouraging you to raise your pro-refugee and pro-resettlement voices! Contact your national, state and local representatives to let them know that refugee resettlement matters to you. Not sure who to call or what to say? Visit RCUSA for phone numbers and sample phone conversations. 2. Utilize social media! Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to receive updates, educational facts/statistics and real life stores. Please feel free to share our posts with those in your network. Education will play a key role in the future of refugee resettlement. 3. In order to receive udated information on the ways in which you can advocate, click here to visit our home office's advocacy page and sign up for their advocacy newsletter.