In the News / January 2017

In the spirit of the holidays, Iowa reflects on the legacy of welcoming refugees

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Many families in America recently celebrated Christmas, honoring the Christian tradition of celebrating Baby Jesus’ birth. However, what many Americans may not realize is that Jesus and his family were Middle Eastern refugees escaping persecution.

An editorial in the Des Moines Register reminds those celebrating Jesus’ birth that there is a Biblical mandate to welcome refugees and take care of those escaping persecution. While 2,000 years ago the refugee crisis looked like Jesus’ family escaping King Herod, today the refugee crisis looks like millions fleeing Syria and President Assad (in addition to many other conflicts around the world).

Over 1,000 refugees entered Iowa in 2016. Despite Governor Branstad’s statements opposing refugees, many Iowans continue to “welcome the stranger” by donating money, household items and school supplies. Refugees in Iowa are thriving and are happy to be supporting their families and working hard in the city, thanks to the kindness of volunteers and agencies like USCRI Des Moines.

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