Advent Day 12: Jesus was a refugee at the beginning of his life

Jesus was a refugee at the beginning of his life like so many people in the modern age.

Seonaid Knox, an elder at St John’s Church in Gourock, Inverclyde, said the climate crisis is exacerbating the displacement of people from the countries of their birth.

Seonaid-Knox
Seonaid Knox is an elder at St John's Church in Gourock, Inverclyde.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 79 million people were forced to leave their homes in 2019.

That figure includes 26 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18.

Miss Knox said: “The plight of climate refugees is starting to gather attention, but the term is not recognised in international law – meaning people that are fleeing their country due to climate change or natural disasters have even less support than those who are displaced due to war or threat of persecution.

“Add COVID-19 into the mix, and the situation for some people becomes all the more dire.

“So in the run up to Christmas, let’s enjoy all the decorating, singing Christmas Carols and wrapping gifts but may we also reflect on the baby Jesus as a refugee and pray that displaced people all over the world find safety, shelter and security.”

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