This month the religious festivals of Ramadan, Easter and Passover will overlap for the first time in many years. As people of faith mark these important spiritual moments, Islamic Relief invite you to attend ‘Welcoming the stranger, living as neighbours’, an interfaith dialogue around how we can work together to support refugees and build more inclusive societies.

The dialogue will be between Waseem Ahmad, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide, Rev. Anne Burghardt, General Secretary at The Lutheran World Federation and Mark Hetfield, President and Chief Executive Officer at HIAS.

The event takes place over Zoom on Friday 8 April. Check your local start time and register for the event.

Strengthening faith-based responses to the world’s refugee crisis

The event will see 3 of the world’s leading Jewish, Islamic and Christian humanitarian organisations teaming up to help strengthen faith-based responses to the world’s refugee crisis, as growing numbers of people flee their homes to escape war, conflict and persecution.

Welcoming the support being given to millions of Ukrainians fleeing conflict, we also remember that low income countries are hosting 85% of the world’s refugees. The number of people on the move, driven out by conflict and the climate crisis, increases daily. There are now more than 80 million people worldwide who have already been forcibly displaced.

Moderated by Anna Hjelm, Programme Director at A World of Neighbours, during the dialogue CEOs will touch on topics such as:

  • What inspires the work of faith actors in welcoming and caring for refugees, internally displaced persons, and people on the move
  • The significance of cooperation and partnership between global faith organisations and local faith actors
  • How we can learn from the past and reflect on current developments
  • The challenges and opportunities in refugee responses around the world today
  • Signs of hope and potential steps forward.

Attendees will also hear from Mohamad Elsanousi, Executive Director of the Network for Traditional and Religious Peacemakers; Peter Munene, Executive Director at Faith to Action Network; Rev. Dr Sivin Kit, Programme Executive for Public Theology and Interreligious Relations at the Lutheran World Federation.

The webinar sets the stage for the ‘Welcoming the Stranger, Shaping the Future’ event, which the 3 organisations will host in Geneva on World Refugee Day in June.

Islamic Relief supports refugees throughout the year

Islamic Relief provides practical, lifesaving support for those who have been forced to flee their homes. We assist in refugee camps as well as in communities hosting people uprooted from their homes. We give vulnerable families food, clothes and shelter and help them to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

Islamic Relief also works hard alongside partners and United Nations agencies, especially UNHCR, to make sure decision-makers hear the voices and needs of people forced to flee, so they positively influence change.

The outcome report of UNHCR’s High Level Officials’ Meeting in 2021 highlighted the pledge we made, together with the Lutheran World Federation and HIAS, as a significant effort that will enhance shared responsibility and make progress on the Global Compact on Refugees.

The report also described the advantages some faith-based organisations have, with global reach and presence in communities, in campaigning for change and showcasing the work of local faith communities helping millions of vulnerable people to inspire the international community to do more to protect refugees.