URC congregations help raise 20k for the Rohingya Crisis

Myanmar refugees at the Bangladesh border credit Catholic Diocese of Saginaw FlickrUnited Reformed Church congregations across the UK have responded to what is said to be the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.

Since November 2017, URC members raised £10,000, which was match funded by the Church, to donate a total of £20,000 towards the Rohingya relief efforts. This money will be used at the discretion of the Council for World Mission (CWM) towards those in need.

CWM is now calling on all member churches to stand in solidarity with the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar (PCM) and Church of Bangladesh (COB), located at the centre of the crisis, and to join in the relief efforts having itself committed financial support to the humanitarian relief in Bangladesh.

The Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, URC Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries, said: ‘The Rohingya people have been suffering unimaginable violence in Myanmar since August 2017. International news reports have exposed some of the atrocities that have included the destruction of villages, the murder of men, women and children, horrific sexual violence and the enforced migration of hundreds of thousands of people who have lost everything to escape persecution in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine province for neighbouring Bangladesh.

‘The need for aid has not been ignored by our local congregations. This money is vital. Around 700,000 refugees are now living in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh and, as monsoon season approaches, the risk of flooding, water-borne diseases, landslides and other dangers adds to the life-threatening conditions already being endured. Already hundreds of thousands of people are being treated for malnutrition and disease.

‘We are extremely grateful to the local churches who have done an amazing job towards helping the relief efforts.

‘Our partner churches, the Church of Bangladesh, and the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, have witnessed the reality of the suffering and we continue to uphold them in our prayers, whilst offering the reassurance that we stand in solidarity with those who seek justice for the persecuted and join them in their advocacy efforts to bring an end to such atrocities.”

If you would like to find out more about how you can help raise awareness or continue to support the work of our partners as they respond for the Rohingya Crisis, please email the Global and Intercultural Ministries team.

5 June 2018

Picture: Myanmar refugees at the Bangladesh border: Catholic Diocese of Saginaw/Flickr