WASHINGTON — The Catholic Church, particularly in the United States, has been “involved in the reception and establishment” of those from Afghanistan seeking safe haven, participating in the effort with other faith-based aid groups and organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, said Bill Canny, executive director of Migration and Refugee Services for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
While some of those fleeing are U.S. citizens, many are refugees who don’t have family members in the country nor have been in the U.S. before and left their lives behind at a moment’s notice with little beyond what they could carry.
“These are people who have been persecuted in their countries and they need new homes, their kids need to get into schools, they need to find work,” said Canny in a Aug. 25 telephone interview with Catholic News Service, speaking about the dire situation unfolding by the minute in Afghanistan.
Faith-based groups, including Catholic organizations, also have been calling on the Biden administration to speed up the evacuations.
People can donate to Catholic Charities as well as to organizations listed in the MRS resources page at www.justiceforimmigrants.org/afghanistan. There also may be opportunities for people to open up their homes to refugees in the short-term as they move into some cities where the housing markets are expensive, Canny said.