This week we joined many Anglican, Catholic and Baptist churches in asking our government to increase the quota of refugees we allow into NZ and offering to support refugees as a church.
Germany has said it will take 800,000 refugees. We are approximately 1/15th the population of Germany. On a per capita basis, to match the German quota, NZ would need to be taking in 53,000 refugees. Australia has said they will take 12,000 extra refugees. To match Australia on a per capita basis NZ would be taking 2,320 refugees. I believe we can and should do more than the 600 hundred extra refugees proposed by the Prime Minister this week.
How could we as a church practically help?
1. If each of our local communities cared for one family and each family had 4 to 5 people in it then we, as one church, could support at least 40-50 people. We would look to ask communities to care for one family each by finding a home they can rent, support into the community, schools, language learning and getting to know the city, finding jobs and generally getting to know NZ culture.
2. We would encourage people who want to financially give towards the support of refugees to give to World Vision, Tear Fund, Red Cross or Amnesty International.
3. If you want to encourage our Baptist leaders to join the Anglicans and Catholics in requesting our government do more then please email our national leadership – firstname.lastname@example.org
4. And or Send an email to the Prime Ministers office with your views – see http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/contact-us
If you want to get your head around what is happening the link below is a very good summary from the BBC of the refugee crisis and why so many Syrians are fleeing – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26116868