43.7-million people worldwide were forcibly displaced by conflict by the end of 2010, the highest number in the past 15 years. It does not include those displaced by this year’s conflicts in Libya or Syria.
More than 7 million refugees have been living in exile for more than five years, some for more than 30 years.
Pakistan has the world’s largest refugee population at 1.9 million. Iran is second, Syria third, with 1.1 million and 1 million, respectively.
Memphis is the home to thousands and thousands of refugees.
Nearly 1500 Somalis live in the city of Memphis.
Close to 2,000 Fulanis from West Africa live here.
10,000-15,000 Muslims living in Memphis.
Memphis is home to people from Cambodia, Burundi, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Vietnam, Iraq, Ethiopia, Cuba, Honduras, India, China, Jordan, and more.
Memphis is the home to at least 4 mosques, 1 Hindu temple, 2 Buddhist temples, and multiple churches in various languages: Arabic, Swahili, Vietnamese, Spanish, Nepali, Laotian, and many more.
Memphis receives 200+ new refugees/year.
Needless to say, THE NATIONS ARE AMONG US IN MEMPHIS!
SO WHAT CAN YOU AND I DO?
1. Get to know your neighbors. Talk to people that may not look or act like you. Engage in conversation.
2. Teach English by volunteering with the Refugee Empowerment Program.
3. Pray for the 43.7 million people around the world who are displaced and pray for the ones who have resettled in Memphis.
4. Eat at a local international restaurant such as Abyssinia, India Palace, Pho Saigon, Bhan Thai, Casablanca, or Kabob International.
5. Google “religious holidays” or “world religions” to learn more about your neighbors.
6. Walk along side a refugee family and help them resettle in Memphis by volunteering with Christ Community Ministries. You can email my friend, Steve Moses.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Acts 17:26-27