One in every 108 people on Earth is forcibly displaced – the largest number since records began. In round figures, that is more than 70 million people. Part of this UNHCR figure includes 41.3 million people who are “internally displaced,” as well as 25.9 million refugees and 3.5 million asylum seekers.
“We are calling on Christians of all traditions to respond to this injustice …” – Hannah Montgomery
Coincidently, this year – for the 70th time – the Christmas Bowl appeal is asking Christians to place an extra bowl on the table, and make a gift towards the needs of people living in disaster and conflict-affected communities around the world.
“Australian churches have been instrumental in providing care to people during the most urgent crises of our time. It’s unthinkable that 70 years after the catastrophic effects of WWII, millions of people around the world are being forced to flee their homeland in search of safety,” says Hannah Montgomery of Act for Peace, the aid agency of the National Council of Churches in Australia.
“We are calling on Christians of all traditions to respond to this injustice and come together to raise urgently needed funds to help our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering.”
Last year, more than 1300 churches from 15 denominations across Australia took part and raised $2.3 million. This year, Christmas Bowl already has attracted the same number of churches to its annual appeal.
“It is heart-warming to see that in an age of increasing division, churches in Australia from a wide range of faiths and traditions have pledged to take action together in order to share God’s love with our brothers and sisters in urgent need around the world,” said Montgomery.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge is president of the Australian Catholics Bishops Conference: “At Christmas we celebrate the birth of the one sent to bring life to the world.”
“The Christmas Bowl is a very practical way of bringing that life, God’s life, to the needy of the world.”