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UK News

Wales joins in prayer for refugees

by Hannah Tooley

Churches are holding 24-hour prayer vigils, putting on special services and opening up for longer so that people can light candles and say prayers for refugees on Thursday.

It also coincides with Human Rights Day, which recognises the day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Rev Canon Carol Wardman, the Bishop's adviser for church and society in Wales, told Premier: "We will be thinking of refugees all over the world and not just the people caught up in the Syrian crisis, but all the other refugees who are constantly moving around the world.

"And we're also hoping we'll be praying for, not just praying for the refugees themselves, but the aid workers who work with them and the politicians and decision-makers at all sorts of levels who have the responsibility for working out how best to help these people."

The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, Rt Revd John Davies, said that the day of prayer will be a chance to remember those in desperate need who are facing increasingly difficult conditions: "When we hear the horrific stories night after night of people leaving their homes and enduring perilous journeys as they flee for their lives, we all want to do something to help, but feel helpless at such a distance.

"One thing we can do is to hold both them and those who have the means to help them directly up to God in our prayers and thoughts.

"Doing this ensures that neither they nor the enormity of needs are forgotten.

"By setting aside a special day to do this we hope as many people as possible will join us in prayer and give the message to all refugees that we care, we are concerned and we are walking with them.

"May such a day also assure those who are faced with answering their needs that we recognise their need of wisdom, grace and vision."

In September the Governing Body of the Church in Wales passed an emergency motion for churches to show solidarity with refugees and those fleeing conflict and to welcome them into their communities.

#refugeeprayersDec10 is being used on Twitter and churches around the country are being invited to pray for decision-makers as well as refugees and those caught up in conflict across the globe.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Revd Canon Carol Wardman here:

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