ADRA is blessed to be able to honor refugees, and all those who have been displaced, through our work every day. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t look forward to celebrating World Refugee Day on June 20 and World Refugee Sabbath, which falls on June 18 this year.

This year, these days seem especially important as a devastating new record has been reached. 

For the first time in recorded history, the number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations, and persecution has now surpassed 100 million, according to the UN Refugee Agency. 

Prolonged conflicts and crises in every corner of the world are a driving force behind the drastic increase in numbers of displaced people:

  • The war in Ukraine alone has forced 8 million from their homes within the country and across borders.
  • Venezuela is now the world’s second-largest external displacement crisis with 6 million refugees and migrants leaving the country.
  • 700,000 have fled Afghanistan while another 3.4 million have sought safety within different parts of the country due to ongoing turmoil.

The theme for this year’s World Refugee Day is a powerful and poignant one:

Whoever. Wherever. Whenever.

Everyone has the right to seek safety.

Whoever they are, people forced to flee should be treated with dignity. 

Anyone can seek protection, regardless of who they are or what they believe. It is non-negotiable: seeking safety is a human right.

Wherever they come from, people forced to flee should be welcomed. 

Refugees come from all over the globe. To get out of harm’s way, they might take a plane, a boat, or travel on foot. What remains universal is the right to seek safety.

Whenever people are forced to flee, they have a right to be protected. 

Whatever the threat – war, violence, persecution – everyone deserves protection. Everyone has a right to be safe.

World Refugee Sabbath

World Refugee Day falls on June 20 every year, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church has designated the Sabbath before as World Refugee Sabbath. This year, Adventist churches around the world will be marking World Refugee Sabbath on June 18.

ADRA will be sharing materials to help you learn more and get involved very soon!

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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