Home
Home


World must open hearts, ears to Syria crisis
(Washington, D.C.) May 4, 2016 – Fr. Cedric Prakash S.J. has witnessed a lifetime’s worth of suffering in only a few months of working in the Jesuit Refugee Service Middle East and North Africa. Yet he remains an “incorrigible optimist” that conditions in the region — and the circumstances that created them — can and will improve.
Read More >>>
   
Syria: JRS condemns every form of violence
Beirut, 3 May 2016 – Jesuit Refugee Service is unequivocal in condemning every form of violence- and particularly violence on civilian populations. Nonviolence, we believe, is the ONLY way for a sustainable and universal peace.
Read More >>>
   
Global: faith leaders urge Cameron and Obama to help Syrian refugees
Rome, 22 April 2016 – President Obama is in the UK for talks with Prime Minister Cameron regarding the upcoming 23 June EU referendum to decide Britain's membership in the EU. They will also discuss the fight to oust the Islamic State. In this letter below, 28 faith based leaders including representatives from the Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim religions call the two leaders to consider Syria in these talks.
Read More >>>
   
Syria: Fr Frans lives on as a beacon of hope
(Beirut) April 7, 2016 — Jesuit Father Frans van der Lugt was killed in Homs, Syria, on April 7th 2014. Frans was a healer — he touched the broken spirits of a battered people; he did not care for himself, if someone was physically sick, he did all he could to make them well again. Fr Frans is a beacon of hope; not only for the people of Syria — for whom he gave up his life — but for people everywhere who yearn for a new dawn, a better tomorrow.
Read More >>>
   
Lebanon: get all children off the waiting list
Jbeil, 12 October 2015 – "The [Syrian] children used to fight when they played. It was all they knew," said Catherine Mora, a Syrian refugee and teacher at the JRS centre in Jbeil. Yet in one year, Catherine has seen these children change drastically. After just two sessions with JRS the children have learned how to care for themselves and one another.
Read More >>>
   
Praying with refugees in Iraq: 'God wants us to learn something'
Erbil, 1 September 2015 -- A young Iraqi woman who fled ISIS with her family talks about her struggles in a camp for displaced people, and how her faith has evolved because of her ordeal.
Read More >>>
   
Praying with Refugees: education enables self-sufficiency
Washington, DC, 3 June 2015 – "Education is a key in combating the evil of hatred, violence and war," says the Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Peter Balleis SJ. "It is important to get [displaced and refugee] children into school. It is important to keep learning, it is a form of healing in the midst of conflict."
Read More >>>
   
Malta-Libya: no right to health
Valletta, 28 May 2015 – The poor conditions in places of detention in Libya often lead to illness among the detainees, especially respiratory tract and skin infections. However the asylum seekers interviewed said healthcare was a luxury few, if any, were allowed. Sometimes lotion was given for scabies. However, in most cases, those who were ill, even seriously ill, were not treated. They said merely asking for medical care often met with taunts or punishment and some migrants were simply abandoned to die of their illness. Once again, their words are consistent with the findings of human rights organisations.
Read More >>>
   
Jordan: finding leadership and purpose in education
Amman, 25 May 2015 – Ismail, a refugee from Sudan now living in Jordan, shares with us his story. Ismail writes that after enrolling in a Jesuit Refugee Service education program, he rediscovered hope. “I feel as if this opportunity has saved my life,” he says, “life has many opportunities in store.
Read More >>>
   
Malta-Libya: 'this is my country; I do what I like'
Valletta, 21 May 2015 – The asylum seekers interviewed were not always certain who was imprisoning them, even if the guards wore military fatigues, as members of militia groups sometimes wear them too. However the common denominator of the treatment they received in all places of detention was the impunity with which their captors behaved. In a word, the guards could do exactly as they pleased – taunt, torture, rape, even kill – without being apparently accountable to anybody.
Read More >>>
   
Recent stories
Malta: '300 people drinking from the same tap'
Valletta, 14 May 2015 – Conditions in the places where the asylum seekers interviewed were imprisoned – regardless of who was running them – were uniformly poor. Some places were slightly better than others: the food was more plentiful, of better quality, and sometimes there were beds, when space allowed. However overcrowding, poor ventilation and sanitation, overheating, arbitrary access to fresh air, and a lack of food and of safe and palatable drinking water characterised the asylum seekers' stay in detention in Libya. Their claims are amply backed by the findings of human rights delegations that visited places of detention.
Read More >>>
     
Syria: family volunteers in Aleppo
Brussels, 8 May 2015 – Prior to the outbreak of conflict in Syria, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) managed a number of small projects assisting Iraqi refugees living in Aleppo, Damascus and Homs. The JRS centres were places where people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds came together. While Syrian communities peaceful coexisted together, for many there was a sense of distance between them, an invisible barrier. When violence erupted in Syria in 2011, these JRS centres would experience profound transformations.
Read More >>>
     
Malta: 'I was in prison...'
Valletta, 1 May 2015 – From the moment they cross the border into Libyan territory, sub-Saharan Africans are in constant danger of being grabbed and placed in custody – by whom, is not always clear. Arrests are systematic at checkpoints controlled by militias at the entry to towns and villages and on the main thoroughfares.
Read More >>>
     
Malta: easy prey
Valletta, 17 April 2015 – The accounts given by the asylum seekers interviewed by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) were strikingly consistent in the details of their ordeal in Libya. The picture that emerged is one of foreigners who felt conspicuous and unsafe everywhere, even at home. They constantly feared that Libyan civilians might report them and that the armed forces or militias would arrest and imprison them for not having the right papers to be in the country. Bitter experience taught them not to trust anyone, be it their landlord, shopkeeper, taxi driver... They saw themselves – with solid justification – as totally deprived of their rights in Libya, and so constantly open to exploitation and abuse, without anyone to turn to for help or redress.
Read More >>>
     
Malta: don't return migrants to Libya
Valletta, 10 April 2015 – On 9 July 2013, the media learned that the government was planning to send a group of Somali asylum seekers back to Libya on an unscheduled Air Malta flight.
Read More >>>
     
Syria: let this fourth anniversary of the war be the last
Beirut, 20 March 2015 – We rang in the New Year with whatever hope we could muster from inside and out, from our families, our communities, even from our enemies. We scraped it together, and we shared it among us in small rations, barely enough to go around. We prayed and dreamed that this would be the beginning of the end of the horror; that 2015 would put the past four years behind us and bring the long-awaited end to the blood on our hands – the lost fathers, the grieving mothers, the broken children, the destroyed cities and the squandered aspirations.
Read More >>>
     
Praying with refugees in the Middle East: faith in action
Beirut, 9 March 2015 – At a time of increasing extremism, people drift apart. Consumed by war and subjugated by fear, it is difficult to hold onto hope. As the spectre of violence and terror has crept into all of our homes; we must make a great effort not to give in to despair.
Read More >>>
     
Syria: rocket attacks target civilians in Aleppo and Damascus
Rome, 5 February 2015 - The Jesuit Refugee Service is extremely alarmed by the escalation in attacks on Aleppo and Damascus in the last few days. These indiscriminate attacks are targeting densely populated civilian areas. The level of violence in Damascus has reached unprecedented levels. The international community must take urgent action to protect the lives of civilian populations.
Read More >>>
     
Syria: water, the simplest gift of all
Homs, 23 December 2014 – Since the ceasefire for the Old City of Homs was signed earlier in the year, Homs has no longer occupied the news headlines from Syria. Recovering and restoring the Old City to any semblance of its former self will take years of reconstruction. In the meantime, those who are able to, have returned to their homes to try rebuild what has been destroyed and reclaim their property.
Read More >>>
     
France: Pope Francis visits European Parliament
Berlin, Brussels, London, Paris, Rome, Valletta, 24 November 2014 – On the occasion of Pope Francis’s speech before the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 25 November, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) urges European countries to remain faithful to one of the fundamental values underpinning the European Union by showing concrete solidarity with migrants and refugees and ensuring fully-fledged joint search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
Read More >>>