March 15, 2019
Disciples Refugee & Immigration Director to Join 75 Faith Leaders on
“Reverse Caravan” Pilgrimage to Examine Root Causes of Refugees in Honduras,
Then Attend “The Central American Refugee Crisis: A Faithful Response” in El Salvador
Delegations will meet with communities confronting extractive industries and human rights abuses,
study policies leading to forced displacement, and build faithful responses
(Revised links to follow pilgrimage group are in #2 below)
Contact: Sharon Stanley-Rea, sstanley@dhm.disciples.org , 202-957-7826.

Washington, D.C.-- March 14, 2019– A delegation of nearly 75 faith leaders and immigrant justice advocates, mostly from the United States, and several joining from South America, will travel to Honduras March 18-25 to meet with grassroots and religious partners in order to more deeply understand the root causes of migration that have spurred thousands to flee Honduras.

The international, interfaith delegation will meet with organizations working and advocating for the rights of migrants and explore factors that are forcing migrants to flee, including violence; environmental degradation; and the ongoing effects of the 2009 coup, which opened the door for drug cartels, organized crime, corrupt security forces, and near total impunity for human rights violations. The delegation will meet with victims of the government-sponsored repression following the unconstitutional, fraudulent election of November 2017 (supported by the U.S.) and meet with communities fighting against displacement caused by extractive industries and those impacted by human rights violations.

“The migrant caravan from Central America is a modern-day Exodus. As people of faith, we cannot close the borders of our hearts to God’s people, rather we must walk with them, learn from them, and together address the root causes that force so many to take unimaginable risks for the sake of their families.” said Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries.  
Here's How You Can Help!
  1. Sign up at: https://goo.gl/forms/xb2Qic2JQHzfsj7s2 to receive blogs that help you learn about root causes and “travel with us” each day!!
  2. Support the pilgrimage group by: liking our Facebook page , following us on Twitter and bookmarking our blog.
  3. Also, be sure you have liked the RIM Facebook, and are following Sharon as @StanleyRea on Twitter. Share our social media messages to draw attention to the root causes of refugees!
  4. Please pray for the team as you can! Sending encouragement via posts and responses on social media is the best way to let us know you're with us.
“We envision a world where migration is not forced, nor criminalized, but rather understood as a choice for self-determination and survival,” said Rev. Deborah Lee, Executive Director of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, which is sponsoring the trip together with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the SHARE Foundation, CARECEN, and others. “It is for us to come face to face with our own country’s complicity in the root causes driving forced migration, such as our U.S. foreign policy in Honduras, combined with environmental devastation by national and multinational corporations.” The interfaith delegation will include Jewish, Buddhist and Christian leaders.
Again, please sign up HERE if you wish to receive blog information from the team about their experiences!:   https://goo.gl/forms/xb2Qic2JQHzfsj7s2
The date of the delegation visit will coincide with the 39 th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Oscar Romero, who was assassinated for his defense of the poor and speaking out on the repression by government forces in El Salvador on March 24, 1980. The delegation will commemorate the anniversary with a theological forum on how the teachings of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador are being applied in Honduras today.

Rev. Stanley-Rea will then travel to El Salvador the following week to participate in “The Central American Refugee Crisis: A Faithful Response,” through the Global School of the Cristosol organization. Cristosal advances human rights in Central America by deepening understanding of human rights, analyzing root causes of forced migration, and developing strategies to respond to the refugee crisis and support the rights of migrant populations.
Follow Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries on Twitter @StanleyRea , and on FB at: http://bit.ly/RIMFacebook , and call Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, with any questions: 202-957-7826.