In 2015, the number of people displaced across the globe as a result of war, violence and persecution, reached the highest numbers since World War II. Today, there are more than 20 million refugees—so many of whom are Syrian—who need our compassion, our advocacy, our friendship, our prayers and our support.
Whether our new neighbors journey to this country as refugees fleeing persecution or as migrants seeking safety, our collective efforts will always strive to protect the most vulnerable among us. We are called to welcome the stranger, and in this moment’s fear- filled climate, we are resolute in our commitment to educate, invite and engage others in this work of welcome.
Since 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has responded with bold welcome to the hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants who have made the long journey to this country.
Our vision that all migrants and refugees are protected, embraced and empowered in a world of just and welcoming communities is needed as much today as it was three quarters of a century ago. We are pleased to report that in 2015, LIRS continued to change lives as we welcomed so many new neighbors.
In 2015, our work of welcome was made possible through an amazing national network of service partners, Lutheran leaders and congregations who offered safety, a new beginning and a long welcome to tens of thousands of newcomers.
In the pages of this report, you will meet a few of these remarkable and courageous people.
LIRS is deeply grateful for your ongoing support of our efforts. Your generous support has enabled us to have a notable impact on newcomers seeking safety and protection here in order to create better lives for themselves and for their families. When you volunteer and mentor, serve as a foster parent or a friend to refugees, speak out for fair policies, donate or pray for people who are displaced—you are a valued partner on the front lines of extending the long welcome. We thank you for walking alongside refugees and migrants.
Yours in faith,
President and Chief Executive Officer