For Immediate Release: September 21, 2021
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Churches Unite to Launch Ecumenical Declaration to Welcome Afghan Refugees
Washington, D.C.—Church World Service today released an ecumenical statement of support for Afghan refugees seeking safety. The statement, endorsed by CWS, the National Council of Churches, and 37 member denominations, calls on the Biden Administration, Congress, and elected officials on the state and local level to welcome Afghans in harm’s way. The effort comes as tens of thousands of Afghans are fleeing the Taliban and are in need of compassion and assistance.
“We implore the Biden administration, U.S. Congress, state lawmakers, and local officials to embrace their important roles in the evacuation and protection of Afghans seeking refuge,” wrote the group. “It is urgent that leaders at all levels recognize the opportunity of this moment. Together, we must ensure the provision of services and invest the resources needed to help our new neighbors thrive in their new communities—our communities.”
Church World Service has been resettling Afghan refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders for more than a decade. In July and early August CWS welcomed about 300 special immigrant visa holders. As an estimated 75,000 Afghans seek safety in the United States, the organization notes that the biggest needs for arriving Afghans are access to housing and health care, along with the staffing for case management.
The coming months will test one of the core principles that America was built on: welcome. CWS teams across the country–and community, faith, government and nonprofit partners–will do their best to give newly-arriving Afghans the best start they can as they settle into their new lives.
For more information or to speak with CWS about today’s declaration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.