WILLS POINT – While we gather together with our families during this Christmas season there are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people around the world who are separated from home and families and have nowhere to go.
According to the UNHCR, people are forcibly displaced faster than one every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. Don’t take out your calculator. That equates to more than 43,000 people per day.
More than 25.4 million are considered to be refugees – people who have left their national homes. Over half are younger than 18 years old.
Eighty-five percent of these people are attempting to survive in developing countries – in either their own or a neighboring country. Ten million have no personal identification with them and are, therefore, “stateless people.”
One thing all of these people have in common is that they are attempting to escape from war, genocide, extreme persecution, or other perils. “Utterly depleted of hope,” they migrate from almost certain death a scenario that often proves to be more untenable and as life-threatening as the one they are trying to escape.
They flee from a place that has become unlivable to another when fear continues to fill their days and despair darkens their nights.
The Arab Baptist Theological Seminary recently described displacement and death as “sinister co-conspirators against the human experience.”
Let us be careful not to think that displacement is simply a matter of psychological or spiritual attack; it is utterly wrought with physical death as well. There is no way to quantify the amount of human loss unfolding as forced migrants embark on perilous journeys and struggle to secure basic human needs and protections when, or if, they find refuge. Sadly, children are particularly at risk of physical harm and exploitation. Displacement is deathly, and this is precisely why it demands the concern of Christ-followers.
In a very real sense, we all are displaced from where the Lord created and intended us to be. Sin has displaced us from the presence of God and has left us in despair and under the sentence of certain death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23) and “he that believeth not is condemned already (John 3:18).
The Good News is that Jesus Christ came “to destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:15 NIV)
We at Missions Box urge you to spend at least part of your Christmas observance praying for these millions of displaced people. Pray also for those believers who are sacrificing their own comfort to minister to the displaced. Pray that the Lord will open the hearts of those in despair to receive the sure and certain hope of life in Jesus Christ whose incarnation we commemorate this season.
To read more news on the Refugee Crisis on Missions Box, go here.
- IDMC, Global Report on Internal Displacement 2018
- Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Death in the Shadows of Displacement: forced migration, deathliness, and the hope for life
- UNHCR, Forced displacement above 68m in 2017, new global deal on refugees critical
- UNHCR, Figures at a Glance
- Mstyslav Chernov [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons