AMERICA/COLOMBIA - "The Church has helped me to find a land": in Colombia 5.5 million internally displaced persons

Friday, 20 June 2014

Bogota (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church has helped me to find a land, my land is now here in Colombia": is the testimony of Miodrag Jirsa, who comes from Yugoslavia and lives in the Latin American country as a refugee of war, thanks to the silent work of the Church and pastoral groups involved with the refugees, he has found his second home in Colombia. The note sent to Fides Agency by the Colombian Episcopal Conference on the occasion of World Refugee Day, which is celebrated today, June 20th, stresses the commitment of the Social Pastoral - Caritas Colombia.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized a series of activities in Bogota to raise awareness on the subject. The best known is the exhibition held in the main square of the capital, with gigantic pictures depicting scenes of ordinary people who are living as refugees in Colombia.
The Annual Report of the UNHCR highlights that more than 50 million people worldwide are forced to abandon their homes and land to flee and seek refuge. Colombia represents a special case, because we are talking about "internally displaced persons" (see Fides 20/06/2013): 5.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes to protect their lives and those of their families. In places where they arrive they have to face immense challenges in order to live with dignity. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 20/06/2014)