Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement

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Curious About the Role of the Church in the Refugee Crisis?

Do we or our communities have anything to offer in the midst of such a complex problem? What is it that refugees, asylum seekers, and other people forced to flee their homes really need?

This one hour course will give you a paradigm for understanding different ways of engaging with the issue of forced displacement that are truly helpful. Also, you will learn how the strengths of a local church provide an ideal context for the recovery of forcibly displaced people. Enroll now to learn with IAFR's seasoned staff of practitioners!

How can IAFR help you?

Perhaps you want to help people survive and recover from forced displacement, but you're not sure where to begin. Or maybe you are already serving refugees but feel the need to be better equipped?

IAFR missionaries bring a wealth of front-line refugee ministry experience and perspective to our training and consulting work that is highly sought out by churches, agencies and practitioners around the world.

We can provide training on a single topic, several days of in-depth material, or consultation for your ministry team. A selection of our common topics are listed below. We are also launching a webinar series this year.

Join our email list to be notified about upcoming webinars and training opportunities by clicking below.

Refugee Realities

  • 79.5 million men, women and children are forcibly displaced in the world
  • 30,000 people are newly uprooted every day
  • 1 in every 97 people in the world are forcibly displaced
  • About half are children
  • About half are women and girls
  • The number of forcibly displaced people has increased from 42 million in 2009 to 79.5 million today.
  • Statistics from Global Trends, Forced Displacement in 2019, published by UNHCR in June 2020.

Failing Solutions

  • The world offers 3 solutions to forced displacement:
  • RETURN home. But this requires that the causes of displacement have been resolved. The UN has identified over 30 protracted refugee producing situations in the world, the average duration of which is 26 years. Returning home is not an option for the vast majority of refugees.
  • INTEGRATE into their country of refuge. But nearly 9 of 10 refugees are hosted by developing nations that are economically and socially unable to absorb the people seeking refuge within their borders.
  • RESETTLE to another country. But during an average year, less than 1% of the world's refugee population is resettled. Few countries are willing to help by offering the resettlement option to refugees.

Trends in Global Forced Displacement


The number of forcibly displaced people (FDP) worldwide increased from 41 million to 80 million between 2010 - 2020.

Forcibly Displaced People include refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people.

These are people uprooted by war, gross violations of human rights and persecution.


The ratio of forcibly displaced people (FDP) to the global population has steadily fallen between 2010 and 2020.

In 2013, 1 person in every 157 was forcibly displaced.

In 2020, 1 person in every 97 has been forcibly displaced by persecution, war and/or gross violations of human rights.


The number of refugees worldwide increased from 15 million to 26 million between 2010 - 2020.

Refugees are people who were forced to flee homeland to escape war, gross violations of human rights or persecution.

They fear imprisonment or loss of life should they be forced to return to their country.

85% of the world's refugees are hosted by developing nations.

Asylum Seekers

The number of asylum seekers worldwide increased from around 800,000 in 2010 to 4.2 million in 2020.

Asylum seekers are people who have fled their country and applied for permanent refuge in a foreign country.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

"Faithful Christian ministry will often take Jesus' followers to places where hope is in short supply: places where a sense of hopelessness hangs over a community."

-NT Wright

3 Reasons For Hope

Refugees are part of the solution.

God is Alive and Well on the refugee highway.

The church is present on the refugee highway.

It takes more than humanitarian response...
The IAFR Continuum of Recovery
IAFR Continuum of Response

The response to the global refugee crisis requires more than the services of emergency relief agencies. It requires long-term recovery work that serves to strengthen hope and help refugees rebuild their lives.

All too often, refugees find themselves viewed only as people in need. They are confined to the receiving end of the humanitarian and social services that keep them alive. As necessary as they are, it can be dehumanizing to be on the receiving end of such services.

Recovery work helps re-humanize people and restore hope by strengthening community, faith, emotional well-being and personal capacity. It also gets behind the ideas and solutions of refugees, recognizing the important part they play in finding solutions to their displacement.

Click here to download.


IAFR training will help you gain an in-depth understanding of refugee realities along with biblical perspective and cross-cultural tools to help you develop a ministry strategy well-suited to your unique context. Learn more about our core topics below.

Core Topics

    Learn how to develop a contextualized ministry strategy that helps people survive and recover from forced displacement.

    Learn how to maintain your own emotional and spiritual health while engaging in relationships with people who have experienced deep loss.

    Learn how Christian witness and high ethical standards work together in ways that respect the dignity and freedom of refugees.

    Learn how relief work and long-term recovery work compliment each other in helping refugees recover from forced displacement.

    The Bible is filled with stories of forced displacement. Develop a biblical perspective concerning issues related to refugees and forced displacement.

    Gain an in-depth understanding of global refugee realities in the world today.

Interested in learning more?

Contact us today

Let us know if you are interested in exploring how we might be able to help you better prepare for ministry among forcibly displaced people.

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Ministry Resources

Are you looking for resources that will help you get a well-informed perspective concerning refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people (IDP) that you can also share with others? Visit the IAFR Toolbox where you will find the resources below along with many more!

Map of the Refugee Highway

Map of the Highway

Current refugee realities along with biblical perspective all rolled up into a beautiful poster.

Introduction to the Refugee Highway (media presentation)

Intro to the Highway

An eye-opening presentation introducing current refugee realities and biblical perspective on forced displacement.

Refugee Realities FAQ (resource)

Refugee Realities FAQ

Discover answers to frequently asked questions about refugee realities in the world today.

Visit the Toolbox

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