Leaders of faith hold prayer vigil for refugees

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – This year alone, tens of thousands of refugees around the world were displaced from their homes or lost their lives.

On Thursday night, a local church held a candlelight vigil to raise awareness about their struggles.

It was a night full of powerful words, a movement to recognize the obstacles refugees face every day.

“There have been several executive orders over the last year that have blocked refugees while the government looks at some of their processes and makes some changes,” said Judi Harris; Director of Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities.

Harris says 2017 has been a year of uncertainty for refugees.

“Globally according to the U.N. High Commissioner for refugees, there’s 65 million people who have displaced and are currently not in their own home and 22.5 million of them are refugees,” Harris stated.

Organizers say whether it be the hate crimes refugees experience daily or the fear of deportation, life for them is often misunderstood.

That’s why leaders from all walks off faith gathered for prayer with hopes that our country will continue to provide homes for them.

“We support them. Those that are separated we hope that they’re reunited someday soon,” said Paula Frantz; Executive Director of Global Institute Lansing.

Despite the difficult times, the message delivered Thursday night among the sea of people was simple…

“We are still a welcoming community, we’re here, we’re waiting for refugees, we know that they’re good for us, we know that we would save their lives if they could come here,” said Harris.

And Harris wants refugees to remember that in this time of darkness for them, there is light in this community.

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