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Global Migration and Refugees

Every day, thousands of people leave their homes in search of a better life for their families. The United Methodist Committee on Relief’s (UMCOR) Global Migration program helps refugees and migrants as well as the churches and ecumenical networks that assist them.

The general term “migrants” includes asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrants, environmental refugees, internally displaced persons, trafficked and stateless individuals. While most of these labels describe people who are forcibly displaced, all migrants suffer loss along or prior to their journeys, and most are unable to access the assistance they need to rebuild their lives in safe places.

UMCOR recognizes that migrants are children of God and have a right to receive care regardless of their reasons for migrating. UMCOR promotes the global adoption of practices that make migration safe and respect the dignity of all migrants.

Migration ministries

UMCOR encourages, supports and equips Methodist and ecumenical partners for migration ministry. It provides relief and recovery in the form of food aid, basic necessities, and legal and transportation services for vulnerable migrants and refugees with support to organizations working directly with these populations.

Another avenue of ministry is support for migration-focused organizations, such as the Immigration Law & Justice Network (ILJN) or Church World Service (CWS), which reach migrants with programs in the U.S. that help them attain legal status, litigate asylum claims and resettle in U.S. communities. Such ministries seek to welcome people into the community without condition and regardless of church affiliation or membership.

UMCOR encourages United Methodist congregations to engage in local migration ministries. Recent opportunities include small “Mustard Seed” grants for congregations providing basic goods and services to migrants in their communities. UMCOR also works to support churches and organizations that receive and accommodate refugees and migrants in other countries.

Mustard Seed Migration Grants - Grants of up to $2000 to United Methodist churches to fund local projects that assist refugees and migrants

The Mustard Seed Migration Grant program is designed to encourage United Methodists to engage in ministry to migrants in their midst. UMCOR will award grants of $2,000 USD to up to 100 United Methodist local churches to engage in new, one-time community-based service projects and ministries focused on migrants and refugees.​

Read Stories of Impact

UMCOR and CWS: Care and resettlement for Ukrainian refugees in Moldova

Caring for refugees from Ukraine who crossed into neighboring countries is the latest chapter of an UMCOR-CWS partnership that began in the mid-1940s.

UMCOR statement regarding Administration’s recent Title 42 policy change 

Global Ministries/UMCOR wholeheartedly endorses the Immigration Law & Justice (ILJ) Network’s statement expressing serious concerns about the recent expansion of the Title 42 public health order regarding immigration.

The freedom to live out faith in Christ

The UMCOR Asylum Project (“Leading with Welcome”), a partnership that includes UMCOR, National Justice for Our Neighbors and Church World Service, helps a family from Honduras win their asylum case on the grounds of religious persecution.

Support UMCOR’s work with global migrants and refugees.