Sponsor Refugees in Canada

Refugees are our neighbors. When we think of refugees we often hear of the Biblical call to ‘welcome the stranger.’ And welcoming the stranger is a good first step. But there is much more that can be done.

Refugee Sunday is April 22 in Canada.

On this day we celebrate and reflect on the compassionate work of churches across Canada that have reached out in support of refugees in need of protection and have become neighbours to them. 

World Renew has Refugee Sunday 2018 resources available now to guide your church as you plan your service.



The ideal solution for most refugees is repatriation--the resettling of refugees back to their country of origin.

For those who cannot return home, a second solution is for the refugee to create a new life in their country of asylum. However, if neither of these solutions is possible, refugees may be resettled to a third country, like Canada, the U.S, or many others. 

Refugee resettlement is the third and final possible solution available to refugees. This often comes as a surprise to  many North Americans,  A mere 1% will be welcomed into a new country. Limited numbers of countries willing to resettle refugees and limited number of resettlement spaces per country are the main reasons so few refugees are resettled. Those that are, face difficulty in adjusting to a new culture and often find their education and work experience less valued in their new land.

Canada is unique among nations that welcome refugees. That’s because it is the only country that allows sponsorship of refugees by private organizations. World Renew is one of the Canadian agencies that has been granted a sponsorship agreement by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

World Renew’s sponsorship agreement allows CRC congregations in Canada to sponsor refugees.

A refugee is:

“a person who, because of well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable or afraid to ask for protection in that country, or not having a country of nationality, is outside the country where he/she usually lived, and is unable or afraid to return to that country.” (United Nations Convention, 1951.)

We would to like encourage more Christian Reformed congregations to sponsor refugees.  There are several opportunities for refugee sponsorship that World Renew is not able to access due to the lack of sufficient numbers of churches engaged in sponsorship. .  Won’t you consider sponsoring a refugee?

Remember- a person isn’t a refugee by choice.  A person is a refugee by the discriminating choices of others.



If your diaconate would like to consider sponsoring a refugee family or individual, please call us! We will provide you with resources, administrative help, and encouragement if you decide to make this a ministry for this year. World Renew's Refugee Resettlement Handbook (link below) contains a wealth of information about refugee sponsorship and details about how your church can become involved. If you would like us to mail you a copy please contact us. 

Refugee Resettlement Handbook

Rebecca Walker, Refugee Coordinator
World Renew
3475 Mainway
Burlington, Ontario L7R 3Y8
Toll Free: 1-800-730-3490
Fax: 905-336-8344

Looking to sponsor a refugee in the US? Visit Bethany Christian Services. More information also available on the website of the CRCNA Office of Social Justice


Knowing all of your community resources is one of the keys to ensuring that your sponsoring group is equipped to welcome refugees. Forging partnerships with local settlement and newcomer serving organizations will allow you to fully understand what supports are available to the individual or family that you sponsor. As part a research project that World Renew was a part of, a series of workshops have been developed to help newcomer serving groups understand how to forge critical community partnerships.

Click here to view the workshop facilitator's guide Faith & Settlement Partnerships: Setting Immigrants & Canada up for Success.