World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2016: ICMC calls for “Hands of Mercy”
Boston, 17 January 2016 - On the occasion of World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the International Catholic Migration Commission launches today a call to share “Hands of Mercy”, in an attempt to increase understanding of the plight that refugees and migrants face every day in different parts of the world.
As Pope Francis noted in the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, “at times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives”. Refugees and migrants are our brothers and sisters; they are human beings in search of a better life: women, men, and children who flee their home country because of war, conflict, poverty, hunger, exploitation and unjust distribution of the planet’s resources.
In 2015, we have witnessed an unprecedented number of refugees and migrants worldwide, many of them risking their life while attempting to cross seas or deserts in order to reach safer shores or lands. The response of the world to this massive displacement of people has not been adequate. We need to do more to welcome refugees and migrants, and to seeing them as people capable of contributing to society. We need to prevent the danger of discrimination, racism, extreme nationalism, and xenophobia.
Pope Francis calls upon us to open our hearts and our doors to the people in need, and to be prepared not only to give, “but also to receive from others. Hospitality, in fact, grows from both giving and receiving.” In this Holy Year of Mercy, ICMC wants to encourage support and solidarity towards refugees and migrants. We want to change the migration narrative from one of fear and violence to one of hope and mercy.
Share your “Hands of Mercy”!
Share with us your “Hands of Mercy” with words of hope and peace. Hands are the tools in which we show and receive mercy from others. ICMC is inviting you to raise your hand, heart and voice and take a first, simple step in living the new era of mercy and hope.
Simply write your message of mercy, hope and solidarity towards refugees and migrants on your hand, take a picture and post it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the #HandsOfMercy hashtag. We will be sharing the photos we receive throughout the year on our website, in our newsletters and on social media:
You can also send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
Show the world that we are all human beings, and part of one human family!