LWF Christmas message 2015

This Christmas, LWF President Bishop Younan draws attention to the plight of millions of refugees across the world, who like baby Amera and her mother in northern Iraq, are seeking refuge from persecution. Photo: LWF/Seivan Salim
This Christmas, LWF President Bishop Younan draws attention to the plight of millions of refugees across the world, who like baby Amera and her mother in northern Iraq, are seeking refuge from persecution. Photo: LWF/Seivan Salim

A time to offer hope to refugees seeking safety

(LWI) – The President of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan uses his Christmas message this year to urge churches to bring hope to the millions of refugees fleeing violence and religious persecution across the world.

“Because we see in refugees the face of Jesus and the Holy Family, our call for refugees is strong,” says Younan in the 2015 LWF Christmas message.

As Christians approach the time of year when Christ was born in humble surroundings in Bethlehem, many have become increasingly aware that the world is not safe and secure, says the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

“The reality of violence and turmoil long present in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and southern Asia, has now manifested itself in Europe and North America. As the Holy Family once searched for a Bethlehem inn, I ask, ‘Is there a place in our world for peace based on justice?’”

He encourages the LWF member churches to continue providing and advocating for refugees’ wellbeing. “Empower them for justice, strengthen them through education, welcome them into our countries, help them return to their homelands under a unified, democratic political order, respecting human rights, gender justice and freedom of religious expression,” Younan urges.

A refugee himself, since 1948 after his family was forced to flee home at Beer Sheva in present day Israel, the LWF president said the church’s call remains to serve the most vulnerable and to find them shelter—a place in the inn.

“The message of Christmas challenges us to seek justice, to bring hope to the hopeless,” Younan concludes.

Each year, the LWF Christmas message is linked to a Christmas card, highlighting an aspect of the communion’s work. The 2015 image shows a displaced woman and her baby in a communal shelter in Northern Iraq, where her family sought refuge from persecution.

The Lutheran communion member churches directly support refugees and internally displaced persons across the world. Their contribution towards LWF’s humanitarian work globally enable nearly 2 million people to find new shelter, food and access to basic services such as education, health and establish alternative livelihoods.

Read the Christmas Message

 

"Is there a place in the inn?”

In his 2015 Christmas video message, LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan ponders this question, comparing the circumstances under which baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem to the plight of refugees in the world today.  Listen to his words of love and faith during this Christmas season.

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