See Resources Below to Join Faith & Human Rights Partners in Urging Support & Welcome for Afghans!



See Below How You Can Assist Afghans in This Urgent Time




Top Priorities NOW are to:

1) Help Afghan Allies & Vulnerable Populations Get Into & Evacuate Kabul Airport
2) Develop Quick & Safe Processing to Destinations
3) Prepare as Congregations & Communities to Welcome Refugees

Resources to Support Your Help

Over the nearly two decades of U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, at least 1,445 U.S. soldiers and over 70,000 Afghans have sacrificed their lives to fight against Taliban rule. More than 20,000 Afghans have applied and long waited for "SIV"/Special Immigrant Visa status--yet less than 1% of them have yet been safely evacuated from Afghanistan.

In July, President Biden announced a plan called "Operation Allies Refuge" to evacuate Afghans whose visa applications have been stuck for years in processing. The House followed with overwhelming bi-partisan support on July 22 to increase the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) to accommodate Afghan arrivals--leading to an initial group of approximately 200 Afghan SIV arrivals into Fort Lee, VA, with additional Dulles Airport arrivals. As of August 12, Church World Service (one of 9 national resettlement organizations in the U.S., and our long term partner as Disciples) reported 4 flights of approximately 1,000 total Afghan SIVs had arrived to Virginia--and were being processed for resettlement into Sacramento, Atlanta, Dallas, Durham, as well as other locations.

Though days are now waning for safe evacuations in the wake of Taliban takeover in Afghanistan--reports are hoping for enough security to make possible safe evacuations of as many as 5,000-9,000 Afghans daily. NOW is the time to ensure our congregations renew our commitment to resettle! Please contact: sstanley@dhm.disciples.org if your congregation is willing to help!

It is estimated that at least an additional 88,000 Afghans and their family members are also living at great risk, due to their affiliations with the U.S. In addition, vulnerable populations of especially Afghan women and children, religious minorities, reporters, LGBTQI+ individuals, and others are gravely in need of protections--as violence has been steadily increasing in recent months. Some estimates as many as 300,000 Afghans have been affiliated over years with the U.S. military presence in the region--and perhaps 15,000 Americans may still remain in the region in need of safe evacuation.

The devastation of recent days continues long grief, disappointment, and "hope for hope," as spoken to profoundly in THIS Op-Ed, written by an Afghan colleague.


Below are Ways You Can Support Urgent Needs NOW--
and stay tuned for more resources soon to come!:

  • Go HERE to take action and urge immediate protections of Afghan Allies and other vulnerable women, children, and families fleeing persecution--and support U.S. Veterans who served in the region, and whose trauma may be triggered by the Taliban's takeover, by remembering the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255.

  • See THIS LETTER to understand priorities being advocated for in the U.S. in this time. Consider signing THIS LETTER, too.

  • Canada has announced its goal HERE and HERE to resettle at least 20,000 Afghan refugees, including a special program to focus on especially vulnerable groups, including women leaders, persecuted religious minorities, LGBTI individuals, family members of previously resettled interpreters, and others.

  • See HERE for statements from Disciples Refugee & Immigration and other faith partners regarding recent tragedies in Afghanistan and Haiti. See also HERE shared priorities with the Evangelical Immigration Table, urging increased resettlement of Afghans and other refugees.

  • To Welcome Refugees in your area, contact Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea at: sstanley@dhm.disciples.org or 202-957-7826 and go HERE to indicate your interest.

  • DONATE to Week of Compassion & designate "Refugees" to help aid & resettle Afghans and other refugees who have been forced to flee their homes.

  • Find your Closest Local Refugee Resettlement office by clicking HERE for an interactive map. Go HERE for a state-by-state directory with contact information for each office.
  • Are you a Landlord who has rental units that you are willing to rent to newly arriving Afghan families? Email to sstanley@dhm.disciples.org to learn more about how you can be involved in providing a safe place to land for our Afghan neighbors.

  • Want to Learn LOTS more background & cultural information, action opportunities, and other ways you can assist Afghan Refugees? If so,
  • See THIS RESOURCE TOOLKIT from Church World Service
  • Check out THIS "Gather: Afghanistan" TOOLKIT from Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Service
 
  • Remind your networks that refugee resettlement has historically been one of our nation's strongest bi-partisan and unifying programs--linking partners from multiple faith and political perspectives to share compassion for the vulnerable. In the case of Afghans (as with many Southeast Asians following the Vietnam War) refugee resettlement links our communities in direct relationships with partners who have been key to U.S. military personnel serving overseas. Learn more:
  • Bipartisan bill in support of SIVs 
  • State Leaders Promise to Welcome Refugees
  • Operation Promises Kept

  • Want to Talk with Children about Refugees? Consider books like these:
  • For Younger Children: Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
  • For Elementary & Middle School Students: We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai (2019) & The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah (2017)

  • Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries is contributing to a collection of prayers lifting up "Women & Girls of Afghanistan." Watch for this resource soon to come!

 Also, don't forget these additional opportunities
to support other immigrants and asylum seekers:


PATHWAYS TO CITIZENSHIP-
  • RSVP HERE to join (Spanish and English interpretation available!) each Monday in August, 12-12:30 p.m. ET for “Pathways Prayers for Citizenship”—to pray, hear testimonies from immigrants seeking pathways to citizenship, and learn actions you can take in this crucial time during August Recess! See our “Pathways Prayers Toolkit” with bi-lingual prayers for each week, recordings of previous weeks’ calls and testimonies, and more actions and prayers for you and your congregation and family. August 23rd -Essential Worker focus & August 30th -DACA recipient focus.

HAITIAN -SUPPORT
  • Go HERE (insert: https://conta.cc/3iWscDI) for ways you can support Haitians following the earthquake, as well as push back against Haitian asylum seekers still being sent on deportation flights back to dangers. 
  • See HERE (insert: https://bit.ly/HaitiAfghanistanIIC) for statements from Disciples Refugee & Immigration and other faith partners regarding both tragedies.  

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Contact Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries' Director,
Rev. Sharon Stanley-Rea, with any questions & ways
we can support the work of you and your congregations!
sstanley@dhm.disciples.org, 202-957-7826

Please help us ensure 2021 continues to be a season of renewal and hope, by donating online at: https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/product/donation/ & choosing “Refugee & Immigration Ministries” in the dropdown menu—or by mailing your donation check to “Refugee & Immigration Ministries/DHM” to: RIM, c/o Disciples Home Missions, Attn.: Kathy Watts, P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN. 46206
Follow Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries on Twitter @StanleyRea, & on FB at: https://bit.ly/RIMFacebook, and call Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, with any questions: 202-957-7826. See our website at: bit.ly/DisciplesRIM, & Sign Up HERE to receive our important refugee & immigration "RIM WRAP" Alerts!