The Mormon Church’s new video is an appeal for all Christians to help refugees in their communities, as Jesus was a refugee too.
In a move that acknowledges the far reaching power of social media and the internet, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has produced and released a new video on its website and YouTube. The five-minute video is titled “Refuge from the Storm” and is an appeal for people to help refugees assimilate into the new communities and environments they have found themselves in.
In the video, viewers are told there are about 60 million refugees all over the world, and approximately half of are children. Excerpts from Elder Patrick Kearon’s talk during the April 2016 General Conference are featured in the video. He remarks, “The Savior knows how it feels to be a refugee — He was one.”
Quoting scripture (Matthew 25:40: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these…, ye have done it unto me”), the video ends with an appeal for every Christian to attempt to do something in their local community to help make refugees feel at home, for they are people who had lives, careers and aspirations before the ravages of war displaced and uprooted them from their homes.
This is not the first time the LDS is encouraging its members and the entire world to be their brothers’ keepers. In 2015, the First Presidency, the Church’s highest governing body, advocated for members to provide any kind of assistance that they could to refugees. The current president, Thomas S. Monson, assisted by two counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. In a letter, the First Presidency remarks, “It is with great concern and compassion that we observe the plight of the millions of people around the world who have fled their homes seeking relief from civil conflict and other hardships.” The letter then goes on highlighting what the church through its members has been able to do to help in the refugee crisis.
— Clayton A. (@claytonashcraft) September 27, 2016
The LDS also made a commitment of $5 million dollars that would go towards helping families that had been displaced. This was at the height of the European refugee crisis, when many families were escaping war torn Syria, Iraq and other parts of the Middle East due to civil war and the rise of the terrorist organization known as ISIS. Members of LDS were encouraged to tithe and make other offerings that would go to the Church Humanitarian Fund in the October 27, 2015 letter.
Sharon Eubank, the Church’s director of its Humanitarian Services commented, “The Church has helped, and will continue to help those who remain displaced and homeless in conflict zones or in neighboring countries where they have fled.” There are currently many flashpoints of conflict and war on the globe, with the potential of uprooting and displacing even more refugees, and according to the LDS, how people respond to the plight of refugees will define their character and national psyche.
- Mormon Newsroom “Church Releases New Video on Refugees”
- Mormon Newsroom – “Church Members Encouraged to Assist Refugees”