What does it mean to welcome the stranger?

02 September 2021

welcoming the stranger
A woman is told her asylum request has been accepted by a JRS Belgium staff member.

Welcoming the stranger is a core value of all faiths, but what does it mean for refugees and those who accompany them? We asked members of the JRS family of different faiths what it means to them to welcome the stranger. Watch these videos to listen to their answers.

Fr. Lasantha De Abrew, JRS Project Director in Kakuma refugee camp, Kenya.

“We welcome the stranger as we welcome God Himself.”

Samin Razzaghi, refugee from Iran and interpreter for JRS Greece.

“For me, feeling welcome means to be accepted as a member of the society.”

Sr. Meri Muše, Legal Assistant at JRS Croatia.

“What refugees need and appreciate most is friendship, trust, and a shared understanding of why they are forced to flee.”

Siraj Ben Musa, Cultural Mediator at JRS BiH

“Welcoming is understanding other people.”

Fr Stanko Perica SJ, Director of JRS South East Europe.

“For me, welcoming means to behave in a way that shows your optimism.”

Ivonne Pereira, JRS Venezuela.

“To welcome means being able to help.”