20 June 2016, The Tablet

Number of refugees in world at record high as war and prejudice take toll

Um estimates there were 5.3 million refugees and internally displaced people at the end of 2015

The number of refugees worldwide is at a record high, according to new figures released by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.

The organisation estimates that there were 65.3 million refugees and internally displaced people at the end of 2015 beating the record number of people displaced the previous year by almost 10 per cent as Europe faced the arrival of large numbers of migrants, according to the agency’s Global Trends Report released today.

The figure, which has risen by more than 50 per cent in the last five years, means that one in 113 people worldwide are now displaced.

Meanwhile. Pope Francis on Sunday appealed for solidarity with refugees ahead of United Nations World Refugee Day today. Refugees, the pope insisted, are people like everyone else, who have been deprived by war of their homes, their jobs, their parents and their friends.

“Their stories and their faces” he said, “call on us to renew our commitment for building peace through justice”. For this reason, he concluded, we want to stand together with them, “to meet them, to welcome them, to listen to them, to become with them builders of peace, according to God’s will”.

The Pope’s words came after the recitation of the Angelus prayer, as he greeted thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square. 


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