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Introduction — Forced Displacement in the Modern Era
One of the greatest tragedies of the 21st Century is the explosive increase in the number of our world’s refugees, internally displaced people, and vulnerable migrants.

Since 1980 Jesuit Refugee Service has committed itself to accompanying, serving and defending the rights of these forcibly displaced people. While this curricular module focuses largely on areas of the world where JRS serves vulnerable and forgotten people, it also tries to address global issues of refugee protection and assistance.

The following curricular module is based on an innovative approach to learning that is built on five important steps in the student’s learning cycle: Context, Experience, Reflection, Action and Evaluation.

Some Thoughts As You Begin

"The spiritual as well as material need of nearly 16 million refugees throughout the world today could scarcely be greater. God is calling us through these helpless people." Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J., Founder of Jesuit Refugee Service, 1980.

"When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt." Leviticus 19:33-34.

"…I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…." Matthew 25:31-46.

"In our world there are millions of people who have been forcibly uprooted from their homes or native lands and cannot return due to persecution, war, or generalized disorder. . . . The situation of all such people is, in the words of John Paul II, "a shameful wound of our time." Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, 2000.

"Those who have worked with refugees are in the best position to know that when people have been stripped of all their material supports only their cultural values and spiritual inheritance remain to sustain them." Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, Towards a True Refuge, 1993.

"Indeed the foreigner, isolated from his fellow countrymen and his family, should be the subject of greater love on the part of men and of the gods. So all precautions must be taken in order that no wrong be committed against foreigners." Plato, The Laws.

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