On Sunday, April 3, I was watching Conference with my family in Florida when Elder Patrick Kearon, a high-ranking leader within the LDS Church, spoke about the current refugee crisis in Europe. What he said moved me to tears and compelled me to write this article.
“There are an estimated 60 million refugees in the world today,” said Elder Kearon. “Which means that 1 in every 122 humans has been forced to flee their homes and half of these are children.”
While Elder Kearon recognized that there are “highly-charged arguments in governments and across society regarding [the refugee crisis]” he emphasized that his comments were “not intended, in any way, to form part of that heated discussion, nor to comment on anyone’s immigration policy.” Instead, Elder Kearon wanted to “focus on the people who have been driven from their homes and their countries by wars that they had no hand in starting.”
Elder Kearon then went on to enumerate some of the many ways in which the LDS Church has responded to the refugee crisis. Indeed, the LDS Church has not been blind to this crisis. For months, the Church—based in the United States—has been working with over 70 organizations in 17 European countries. In November of last year, the LDS Church made a sizable contribution to immediately help displaced families and then donated an additional $5 million in February of this year.
Elder Kearon went on to say “It’s been inspiring to witness what Church members from around the world have generously donated to help these individuals and families who have lost so much. Across Europe, specifically, I’ve seen members of the Church who have experienced a joyful awakening and enriching of the soul as they have responded to that deep, innate desire to reach out and serve those in such extreme need around them.”
Read the full article at Huffington Post.