Join EMM in Celebrating World Refugee Day by hosting a sister event in your community.

Celebrate World Refugee Day with EMM
This year in celebration of World Refugee Day on June 20, we are hosting an Interfaith Panel Discussion & Prayer for refugees followed by an Iftar ( literally translated to breakfast) meal. This year World Refugee Day falls within the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, providing the prefect opportunity to reach out and connect with our interfaith partners, celebrate our common cause and honor the many faith traditions of the refugees we welcome.

We would like to ask that you join us in celebrating! In this toolkit, you will find the information needed to create a sister event in your community.

A great commonality across religions and global cultures is the tradition of breaking bread together. The sharing of food between people is an effective and enduring way to foster interpersonal, inter-religious, inter-ethnic, and international connections.

Recently, we have become a nation that enables fear and hate to dominate our narrative and to drive policies that foment xenophobia and create walls between neighbors. These walls may seem comforting at first, but they limit our vision and prevent us from seeing the human face of suffering, from knowing the kindness of our neighbors, and from feeling the joy you get from making a true connection with someone new. These walls are preventing us from living the call that all faiths share: the call to welcome the stranger. This call is the essence of growth and development for humanity.

One of the many pleasures of our work is counteracting the effects of these walls by providing communities with the opportunity to make connections across religious, ethnic and national lines. These connections build communities rooted in understanding and compassion.

Stand Together to Support Refugees
Interfaith Conversation & Prayer for Refugees

Our World Refugee Day event will begin with a panel discussion that includes faith leaders representing each of the Abrahamic faiths speaking about their call to serve refugees alongside refugees speaking about practicing their faith in the United States. We have planned about an hour for the panel. Each panelist was asked to prepare a statement between five to eight minutes in length. After statements are finished, as time permits, we will have Q & A.

At sunset, approximately 8:30 in NYC, an imam will perform the Islamic call to prayer and our non-Muslim guests will exit the room and move to the dining area for a blessing of the food, while our Muslim guests complete their prayers.

We will all come together to share a family style meal catered by Eat Off Beat, an NYC based catering company that employs refugee chefs.

Our panel discussion will be recorded and available as a resource on our website after the event.
Interfaith Iftar Planning

Our greatest and most important piece of advice is to be sure you include Muslim partners in the planning process. We also encourage you to make use of these very helpful guides.

Additional World Refugee Day Resources

There are many of excellent resources out there to plan World Refugee Day events, here are some of our favorites:

Additional Interfaith Event Ideas

If the timing and planning for an Iftar do not match your schedules or capabilities, EMM would like to encourage you to participate in our World Refugee Day by hosting an Interfaith event of your own design.

The links below provide lots of great ideas for interfaith events!

World Refugee Day Social Media Guide

Don't forget to share your event on social media!
EMM will be using #StandTogether #WithRefugees #WRD2017 during their event and would like to encourage you to do the same during yours and tag us @emmrefugees

Please remember to get permission from guests before posting any of their photos on social media.

A Shared Calling

The call to "welcome the stranger," through protection and hospitality, and to honor the stranger or those of other faiths with respect and equality, is deeply rooted in all major religions.
There are tens of millions of refugees and internally displaced people in the world. Our faiths ask us to remember we are all migrants on this earth, journeying together in hope.

Christian Scripture
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (Matthew 25:35)
"Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:1-3)

Islamic Scripture
"Do good unto your parents, and near of kin, and unto orphans, and the needy, and the neighbor who is a stranger, and the friend by your side, the wayfarer, and your servants." (Qur'an 4:36)
"Those who give asylum and aid are in very truth the believers: for them is the forgiveness of sins and a provision most generous." (Qur'an 8:43)

Jewish Scripture
"The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Leviticus 19:33-34)
"You shall not oppress the stranger, for you know the soul of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 33:1)
Welcoming the Stranger, Affirmations for Faith Leaders

In 2013, a coalition of leading faith-based humanitarian organizations and academic institutions drafted UNHCR's document "Welcoming the Stranger: Affirmations for Faith Leaders." Faith groups around the world have used the Affirmations to foster support for refugees and other displaced people in their communities.

EMM will ask our guests to look to the affirmations as inspiration to "welcome the stranger" with dignity, respect, and loving support. Each guest will receive a copy of The Affirmations to take with them.

A core value of my faith is to welcome the stranger, the refugee, the internally displaced, the other. I shall treat him or her as I would like to be treated. I will challenge others, even leaders in my faith community, to do the same.

Together with faith leaders, faith-based organizations and communities of conscience around the world, I affirm:
I will welcome the stranger.

My faith teaches that compassion, mercy, love and hospitality are for everyone: the native born and the foreign born, the member of my community and the newcomer.

I will remember and remind members of my community that we are all considered "strangers" somewhere, that we should treat the stranger to our community as we would like to be treated, and challenge intolerance.

I will remember and remind others in my community that no one leaves his or her homeland without a reason: some flee because of persecution, violence or exploitation; others due to natural disaster; yet others out of love to provide better lives for their families.

I recognize that all persons are entitled to dignity and respect as human beings. All those in my country, including the stranger, are subject to its laws, and none should be subject to hostility or discrimination.

I acknowledge that welcoming the stranger sometimes takes courage, but the joys and the hopes of doing so outweigh the risks and the challenges. I will support others who exercise courage in welcoming the stranger.
I will offer the stranger hospitality, for this brings blessings upon the community, upon my family, upon the stranger and upon me.

I will respect and honor the reality that the stranger may be of a different faith or hold beliefs different   from mine or other members of my community.

I will respect the right of the stranger to practice his or her own faith freely. I will seek to create space where he or she can freely worship.

I will speak of my own faith without demeaning or ridiculing the faith of others.

I will build bridges between the stranger and myself. Through my example, I will encourage others to do the same.

I will make an effort not only to welcome the stranger, but also to listen to him or her deeply, and to promote understanding and welcome in my community.

I will speak out for social justice for the stranger, just as I do for other members of my community.

Where I see hostility towards the stranger in my community, whether through words or deeds, I will not ignore it, but will instead endeavor to establish a dialogue and facilitate peace.

I will not keep silent when I see others, even leaders in my faith community, speaking ill of strangers, judging them without coming to know them, or when I see them being excluded, wronged or oppressed.

I will encourage my faith community to work with other faith communities and faith-based organizations to find better ways to assist the stranger.

I will welcome the stranger.