Refugee and Migration Crisis Statement
Sponsor: Archbishop Justin Welby
We, the bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion, called together by the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference in 2022, reaffirm our commitment to the treatment of refugees and migrants as made in the image of God and therefore deserving of equal dignity and respect.
The statements from individual Provinces within the Anglican Communion that have already been presented to this Lambeth Conference highlight the growing impact of conflict, climate change and food shortages on the already massive movement of peoples within and across nations. As Anglicans, we are called in our Marks of Mission to “respond to human need by loving service” and to “transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.” Meeting the immediate needs of those who have been displaced or trafficked in any way, and doing what we can to build better structures to help all people flourish, is at the heart of our mission.
We therefore affirm our support for:
1. The UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) Welcoming the Stranger (2013) initiative, which
includes a set of affirmations signed by global religious leaders. The affirmations aim
to inspire leaders of all faiths to ‘Welcome the Stranger’ with dignity, respect and
loving support and are a resource and a practical tool to foster support for refugees
and other displaced people in their communities https://www.unhcr.org/uk/protection/
2. The work of Anglican provinces, dioceses and agencies on the ground. Churches and
other faith communities are on the front line of many displacement situations – whether in identifying early warning signs of potential displacement, meeting the physical and spiritual needs of displaced populations, or dealing with their own displacement, within countries and across borders
3. The Global Compacts on Refugees and Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and welcome the widespread adoption of both Compacts by states in 2018. We urge all countries to fully implement their commitments under the Compacts, and integrate the principles of the Compacts into national policy. We celebrate those provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion who have already pledged to support the aims of the Global Compact on Refugees and encourage others ministering and working with displaced populations to work with the Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations to make submissions ahead of the 2023 Global Refugee Forum.
4. A response to the increased understanding at the global level of climate change and other environmental changes as drivers of displacement, recognising that the vast majority of displacement in the context of disasters and climate change happens within countries, rather than across national borders. We call for more political will to integrate just, generous and universal efforts at the global level, with the richest bearing the greatest burdens, including across UNFCCC, IOM and other international agencies and fora.