Archive for the ‘Migration’ Category

“Immigration” vs “Migration” – confusion?

Dear Friends for Life:   Many news articles use the words refugees, migrants and asylum seekers when reporting on the movement of people. Japan Times headline this morning – “Japan to limit work permits for asylum seekers from 2018” – talks about asylum seekers who file for refugee status in order to work as immigrants in the country. The number of applications has jumped from 1,202 in 2012 to nearly 17,000 in 2017. But only 28 people were recognized as refugees in 2016, causing much international criticism that Japan is closed to refugees. On the other hand, Japan has over one million foreign workers who are referred to as “Immigrants”. Are these workers really “Immigrants” or “Migrants”?. What’s the difference? Or is there? Continue reading

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow?

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we are reminded that God is with us on our individual life journeys and that we too are called to accompany others on theirs.

During the Advent season leading up to Christmas, we are invited to contemplate a young pregnant woman with her husband who left their home and faced a journey of difficulty and uncertainty.

The Holy Family was a family of MIGRANTS. Jesus was born in a stable outside Bethlehem, on the “wrong side of the tracks”, as they say nowadays. There was no welcome for his pregnant mother and her husband. The doors and hearts of the day were closed to them.

Jesus was born in the poorest and humblest of settings and not long after his birth, he became a REFUGEE. Fearing for their lives, his parents fled with him to Egypt. Continue reading

One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress. Continue reading

World’s Most Persecuted

rohingya-muslimsDear Friends for Life:     Who are the Rohingyas? The Rohingya are a Muslim people in the Buddhist-majority countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Not only are they the world’s most persecuted minority group, but they are not officially recognized by governments as an ethnic minority group. For decades they have been subjected to discrimination and violence by the Buddhist majority. Continue reading

21st Century Asian Slaves

Dear Friends for Life:  The crisis of health of trafficking victims in Southeast Asia deepens as a recent study finds victims badly abused. The research discovered that people caught in trafficking suffer beatings, neglect and severe health problems no matter where they end up working. Continue reading

If Only I Would Listen

keep-christ-animbigDear Friends for Life:   It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you… yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.   -(Mother Teresa) Continue reading