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refugee camp and passports

Six Christian charities helping refugees and asylum seekers

Matt Holderness Portrait Matt Holderness
5 min

"If the Kingdom of God is like a banquet then you’ll find asylum seekers in the VIP section, next to the widows and the orphans." That's the view that Daniel Jones, our Chief Generosity Officer, takes as he explores what a generous response to asylum seekers and refugees should look like in the life of a Christian.  

Refugees and asylum seekers are people that have been displaced from their home and forced to flee from war, famine or persecution. Scripture reminds us that we are all strangers or foreigners on Earth (1 Peter 1:7) and we know what it is to be welcomed by grace to a home in Christ.

Around the world there are many Christian charities and mission organisations that work to meet the physical and the spiritual needs of these people. This work is an extension of what Christ has already done for the church, by embracing us, who were once strangers and foreigners. 

In the UK alone there were 74,751 asylum applications made last year and this is likely to increase this year. The church has a biblical mandate to offer hospitality and to continue to 'welcome the stranger' (Matthew 25:35).

Helping refugees and sharing the hope of the gospel:

At Stewardship we are proud to be partners with a range of organisations who are helping refugees in the UK and also those who are assisting the displaced in emerging crisis areas around the world. We've curated a list of some of these key partners who are currently working where the need is the most. These charities are committed to meeting the practical of those that have been displaced but also their spiritual needs by pointing them towards Jesus.

welcome the stranger

1. Welcoming refugees through local UK churches: Welcome Churches

Welcome Churches vision is for every refugee to be welcomed by their local church in the UK. They train churches across the country to support people and provide a loving community for them. You can find out more about Welcome Churches through this interview with Joint CEO Sue Butler and by watching the video below.

Support Welcome Churches


2. Working quickly to provide help around the world: Sanctuary Foundation

Following successful civil society and community-based campaigns for Syrian, Afghan and Hong Kong new arrivals, Sanctuary Foundation has been catalysing Ukrainian refugee welcome and support across the whole of the UK.

Sanctuary Foundation have partnered with Save the Children, UNHCR, Choose Love, Royal College of Paediatricians, Anna Freud Centre, The Children's Commissioner and many others providing training and inspiration to thousands of hosts.

It also raises funds, provides information, undertakes projects and events to help sponsorship succeed and refugees find welcome, work, and worthwhile housing.



3. Helping the persecuted on the Sudanese and Egyptian border: Help The Persecuted

Help The Persecuted (HTP) is a UK based charity that helps refugees and Christians fleeing persecution from countries all around the world including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Currently, part of their work is focussed on helping those who are affected by the crisis in Sudan. To date they have helped over 5,000 refugees flee from the area into Egypt. They are providing hot meals, medical care and the hope of the gospel to hundreds of weary travellers. One of those being helped remarked "what you are doing for the people here is nothing short of miraculous".

SUPPORT Help the Persecuted


4. Welcoming strangers to a community: CHARIS

Moved by the plight of thousands of refugees, three churches in Taunton set up the CHARIS charity and applied to the Home Office to become a Community Sponsor.  They received their first family in July 2017 and have since then resettled many more families within their community.  They are passionate about bringing hope and transforming the lives of refugees, one family at a time.

support charis


5. Helping refugee families: Samaritan's Purse

Countless families worldwide have made the difficult choice to leave their homes in the midst of famine, drought, conflict, or economic collapse. In places like Niger, Jordan, South Sudan, Turkey, and Uganda, multitudes have been uprooted and are struggling to obtain the most basic of necessities, like medical care, shelter, and food. Samaritan's Purse helps with many different aspects of refugee week, recently they hosted a special “Olympic Day” in March for displaced children with disabilities and their families in Syria.

“Often they are stigmatised, just forgotten,” said Sarah Nowery, a Samaritan’s Purse information officer in the region. “This was a whole day just filled with fun and focused on them. The parents might have been the only ones happier than the children! They were so blessed to see their little ones having such a wonderful day.” This festive day was a refreshing change for these children who deal with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities. Life in the camps is hard for anyone, but their situation often leads to isolation, neglect, and bullying.

refugee olympics

Supporting Samaritan’s Purse helps them reach displaced families like these during their darkest hours, caring for their physical needs while also offering comfort and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in” (Matthew 25:35).

Support Samaritan's Purse


6. Supporting refugees in the Sudan Crisis: Medair

Medair is a humanitarian aid organisation inspired by Christian faith to bring emergency relief to the world's most devastated and hardest to reach communities. One of their key areas of focus right now is reaching out to Sudan in crisis.

refugees drinking clean water

Support Medair


Get started with a Stewardship Giving Account

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Written by

Matt Holderness

Matt joined Stewardship in 2022 with over twenty years of marketing experience from roles at Kendal College and Capernwray Bible School. He has degrees in Business and Marketing, Theology, Management and most recently a Masters in Hermeneutics. 

Through raising awareness of Stewardship’s services, Matt helps people explore the impact their generosity can have on the church and Christian charities. He’s passionate about supporting Evangelism and Bible causes, and has a particular interest in charities that are helping people in Poverty and Debt in the UK.