Religious Response to Refugee Displacement: Meaning in the Face of Suffering

April 13, 2017

In this article, Fr. David Hollenbach argues that the world's 67 million refugees and internally displaced individuals have not only physical and emotional demands, but also spiritual needs. Appropriately trained faith-based aid agency workers can make a distinctive contribution in addressing these needs. Hollenbach calls for a clear commitment by faith-based agencies to both religious nondiscrimination and to interreligious understanding and collaboration. He urges aid workers to respect religious freedom while offering their best insights as to how to deal with questions of meaning and hope. This is not formal interreligious dialogue but is a form of communication that requires humility, mutual interconnection, commitment, and empathy. Hollenbach argues that this type of dialogue is preferable to “abusive proselytism" or secularism. The article was published in Origins by Catholic News Service.

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