“We pray for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from their native lands, who seek a home where they can live without fear: that they might always be respected in their dignity.” (Pope Francis)

The Holy Father has again called on the world to take ‘effective action’ to help refugees, ahead of the World Day of Refugees which takes place each year on 20th June. He said –

“I Encourage the work of those who bring help to those in need.. It is my hope that the international community should act in a fitting and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration.”

The plight of refugees weighs heavy upon common humanity. Not because of the numbers of refugees, but because so many feel they have no option but to leave their homes and seek safety and shelter and employment elsewhere in the world. And in order to achieve these goals, they are prepared to undertake journeys of great danger, crossing oceans and not knowing what awaits them on the other side. And often, dying rather than reaching their intended destination.

The Holy Father notes that we need to look at ways of preventing the causes of forced immigration. Amongst those causes are wars, persecutions, religious and racal intolerance. All huge issues – but perhaps tempered a little in our world view as it can seem that ‘they don’t affect us’.

Compassion for our fellow human beings should remind us that what affects one affects all. When people anywhere are persecuted and we do nothing, we are all changed, we all become something different.

We all have a part to play, whether big or small. If we can do something to help, then we should. And if we cannot, then we can at least pray for those directly affected.