Sixty-eight and a half million people were displaced by the end of 2017.
A displaced person is someone who has had to flee their home because of war, famine, disaster, or persecution. A refugee is a displaced person who has fled his country. Some simply flee their home and go to another part of the country. In Iraq, ISIS displaced millions of people. Constant war in the country has forced people to leave their homes to live in tents, on the streets, or anywhere they can find shelter. Civil war has devastated Syria for over half a decade. Bombs have ripped apart homes, schools, and hospitals. The United Nations estimates 13.5 million Syrians have needed humanitarian aid with six million internally displaced, and more than five million having fled the country. War has devastated what once was one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East. Much infrastructure is gone, buildings lie in devastation, people just try to survive another day.
War, famine, and economic crisis has caused many Africans to leave their countries. Some of the largest refugee camps in the world today are in Africa. Many Africans make the long dangerous journey towards Europe with hope of a better future. The Rohingya people, from Myanmar, are fleeing into Bangladesh by the thousand. It is one of the greatest crises of today. Almost 700,000 Rohingya have fled the violence that erupted in August of 2017. The world watches, wondering what will happen next? Europe received the brunt of the “refugee crisis” as we know it, in 2015, when thousands of refugees a day poured into Greece. By the end of 2016, 5.2 million displaced people had reached Europe. Thousands never made it, the desperate journey costing them their lives. Refugees are still entering Europe. Greece camps are overcrowded. Asylum processes are slow. People already traumatized by war are now sitting, waiting -unsure, afraid, restless. The refugee crisis is trully a great need in the world today. The horrific scenes of war - bodies burning in the streets, children dying, beheading, rape, homelessness- these have deep emotional and spiritual affects on the people who experience them, making them vulnerable. Many suffer from PTSD and other trauma related conditions. Many are completely hopeless. They remember the life they once had, and now have a future that looks dark, unsafe, and frightening. The numbers are overwhelming. They stagger us. We would rather turn away, not knowing, because we can't seem to help anyway. But we can help. This is possibly the greatest opportunity that Anabaptists have had since the reformation. They have come to us. Doors have been opened. These are doors none of us ever would have dreamed existed. While in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, we asked one question of everyone we interviewed, “If you could tell our people in America one thing, what would that be?” The most common answer was astounding in it's accord.
“Now is the time.”
The LIVE Team is dedicated to serving the Anabaptist community by bringing awareness to and a better understanding of the refugee crisis. It provides ground level research on current refugee needs in order to organize and coordinate your help as effectively as possible.