Church World Service and other Refugee Resettlement Leaders Discuss Global Refugee Crisis, U.S. Response

September 18, 2015

In response to the global and Syrian refugee crises, Church World Service partnered with other refugee resettlement groups to address the U.S. response and advocate for an increase in resettlement numbers

WASHINGTON – As the world continues to search for solutions to the global and Syrian refugee crises, Church World Service joined Refugee Council USA and other organizational members to address the crises and discuss their proposals for a United States response.

“We’ve done this before. People of faith in the United States have tremendous capacity to welcome refugees. We have already seen an outpouring of support from people around the country,” the Rev. Dr. Earl Trent said. Trent is Chairman of the Board of Directors for Church World Service and Senior Pastor at Florida Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Joined by international leaders in refugee resettlement and experts in the resettlement process, Trent echoed calls for the U.S. to increase refugee resettlement numbers immediately to 200,000, including 100,000 Syrian refugees.

“Since the Syrian refugee crisis has gained the attention of the international community, CWS has received an outpouring of support from communities across the country wanting to help,” said the Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS President and CEO. “On behalf of our 37 member communions, I stand with Rev. Dr. Trent and thousands of other faith leaders in calling for President Obama to show compassion and moral leadership by increasing resettlement numbers and continuing America’s legacy of humanitarian action and hospitality.”

Working alongside Refugee Council USA and other partner organizations, CWS has pushed the United States to accept 200,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2016, including at least 100,000 Syrians.

“There are more people displaced now than at any time since the end of World War II. For the U.S. to continue down this path of inaction is inexcusable and unthinkable,” CWS Immigration and Refugee Program Executive Director, Erol Kekic said. “Our country has shown in the past that where there is a will, there is a way to immediately increase refugee resettlement when faced with humanitarian crises. The current crises demand an immediate and compassionate response. As an organization, we add our voice to the call of other leaders in the refugee resettlement community for the United States to honor its legacy of leadership and immediately increase resettlement numbers.”

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees and others displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty.