Refugees01

Pray for Migrants at Sea

Over 500 men, women and children drowned in June 2023 while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in an overcrowded boat destined for Greece. The boat was filled with migrants from Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, and Palestine who were seeking asylum in Europe. They had made arrangements with smugglers in Libya to take them to Greece, but the boat was unsafe and vastly overcrowded. Survivors have reported that the boat ran out of food and water on the second day at sea and people began to die on board before it sank on the fifth day, drowning hundreds.

Exactly how many people attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea each year is not known. The UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that over 80,000 people crossed last year – more than ever before. The IOM counts about 2000 who have died in the attempt but it is not known how many die without ever being found.

Day29 Refugeesbelgrade Photobyfrodebjorshol Flickrcc 2019 2000x1300
Refugees who have escaped to Belgrade warm themselves by the fire | photo by Frode Bjorshol via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The majority of migrants making this crossing are Muslim – fleeing war, political violence, poverty and hopelessness. They believe that Europe will give them the chance to work and raise a family in peace. But many have no idea of the risks they take in stepping aboard a smuggler’s boat.

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Many organizations are doing their best to help migrants who arrive on the shores of Greece or Italy, but there are few resources and increasing numbers of desperate migrants. Governments in Europe negotiate how many refugees they can accept, but many are also lost to human traffickers or end up in refugee camps for years on the other side of the Mediterranean.

How to Pray

  • Pray for Muslim refugees who cross the Mediterranean clinging to the hope of a better life, that they will find it, and that God will meet them in Europe.
  • Pray for the protection of refugees on their dangerous journeys.
  • Pray for organizations helping Muslim refugees in Europe to have the resources they need to minister in practical and spiritual ways.
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