Archbishop of Canterbury preaches on the millions of forcibly displaced people worldwide at Washington National Cathedral

Posted Sep 28, 2020

[Episcopal News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby preached the following sermon during a livestream service Sept. 27 at Washington National Cathedral.

Genesis 28:10-17; Psalm 84:1-6; 1 Peter 2:1-5, 9-10; Matthew 21:12-16

Almost forgotten amidst the pandemic, the greatest movement of people in human history continues to grow. In 1945 around 20 million were displaced. In 2015 it was 60 million; today it is in excess of 75 million. From the poorest and most desperate come the cries.

From the burning refugee camp the weeping of the helpless rises into the unhearing air. From the dusty road with the trails of belongings abandoned, children lost, women violated, men humiliated, bodies unburied, there are only the after-marks of horror beyond horror.

From Dover in England to Queensland in Australia, the tides rise and fall on innumerable beaches and only the groan of the shingle testifies to the lives lost at sea.

The causes of movement vary. Poverty, ambition, fear, war all play a large part. Some flee modern slavery. Some run from family or clan disorder. They flee for any and every reason. They may have illusions about their destination and their reasons for fleeing may be more or less understandable. Yet they flee.

Read the full sermon here.