The Refugee Challenge and Response

 

Impact Europe Strategies

 

What we know.

·       Number of Refugees to Europe Surges to Record 1.3 Million in 2015

·       Nearly 1.1 million refugees arrived in Germany in 2015. 300 thousand are expected in 2016

·       350,000 cross Mediterranean, as of November of this year, UNHCR calls for speedy relocation out of Italy and Greece. 174 thousand in Italy, and 171 thousand in Greece.

When the refugee is settled.  Germany as a case study.

The study conducted by Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) along with the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) is a first large-scale research into refugees’ motivations to leave their home countries, their first impressions of and experiences in Germany and expectations of the future.

The survey of 2,349 refugees aged 18 and older was carried out between June and October 2016, and covers those who arrived in Germany between 2013 and January 2016.

Most of the refugees – 96 percent of respondents – agree that democracy is the best system of government, one percent higher than the Germans who took part in a World Values Survey.

96 percent of refugees and 92 percent of Germans support free elections, saying this is the most important aspect of democracy. An equal proportion of both groups – 92 percent – also stand for equal rights for men and women.

When asked whether democracies should create citizens’ rights and protect people from “government oppression,”93 percent of refugees supported the idea against 81 percent of Germans.

As for the integration into the German society that has long raised concerns, the study showed that nearly 90 percent of refugees who did not know German when they arrived were eager to learn the language and find a job.

During the time spent in Germany, a refugee has on average connected with three Germans and five other refugees. 

Refugees have also shown a better level of education than expected, with some 50,000 being skilled enough to find job in Germany between September 2015 and September 2016. Of those, 30,000 are earning enough to enter the social insurance contribution program.

 

Summary:

This survey shows that refugees are eager and anxious to integrate and start a new life. They are more open and accepting of the new culture and customs. Refugees and forced migrants have historically and currently made positive contributions to the economy, culture and services. Refugees that have been accepted by Germany over the past years have shown a deeper devotion to European democratic principles in a whole range of aspects than their new fellow countrymen.

 

Our response as the church in Europe:

As Christians, we have a key role to play in the upcoming months and years, highlighting the ongoing plight of refugees and displaced people. We must affirm the case for a human response to the crisis, which recognizes that we are all made in God’s image, and that the human dignity of refugees is intimately connected to our own. A Christ-like response to the unfolding refugee crisis must begin with an acknowledgement that there is no outsider. Neither geography nor legal status can deny a person access to God’s family.

As we respond as a church we are determined and committed to the following:

1.)   Establish communities of faith,among the refugee and migrant population that are housed in:  

a.     Apartments, or similar accommodation.

b.     Refugee camps

c.     Relocation sites.

 

We realize this initiative will require trained leaders. Our plan is to bring Christian leaders from our neighboring Arab countries that are implementing Community Church Planting (CCP). The approximate cost is $50,000 for two CCP trainers, for two years. As an expected outcome, we will: 

 

1.)   Establish training centers in local churches using the CCP model of church planting.

2.)   Partner with local churches and denominations to help start CCP in their communities.

3.)   Train refugees for community church plants (CCP).

 

2.)   Establish Livelihood groups among the refugees.

Livelihood groups help transform people through social development, with a strategic response to spiritual and social needs. We identify and support refugee families through product development. Products are produced in the camps, in half way housing, local churches and workshops.

Livelihood groups are being established in Greece and Spain. Our plan is to help establish new groups in Germany and other countries as the Lord leads.

The Refugee Development Fund was created for new projects.

·       Goal $50,000

This fund will support local churches that are responding to the refugee crisis by establishing livelihood groups in their communities. We want to partner in creating independence while returning dignity of the individual life in the community. We want to affirm and empower refugees as they use their gifts, skills and experiences to create products and provide services that will help develop a sustainable business for groups of people needing economic opportunities.  

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28) 

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34