Christian Aid invite you to Change the Story in word, in speech and through prayer

“The stories we hear and the stories we tell are important. They help us shape our thoughts, form our opinions and set the agenda.”

Christian Aid Change the Story bannerChristian Aid have launched Change the Story to engage the UK public in writing, talking and praying about refugees. They explain the background to the campaign in their post on Medium.

“From a quick scan of newspaper headlines some days, it would be easy to believe that we can’t afford — economically or politically — to welcome refugees. These stories often dehumanise refugees, and seek to play on our fears rather than appeal to our hopes.

“We believe in another story, a story where the inherent dignity and infinite worth of every human being is valued above all. In these times of political uncertainty at home and a seeming emphasis on our differences, remembering our shared humanity is as important as ever.”

The website provides a way of writing a letter and submitting it to newspapers across the UK. Currently listing national and major regional papers, it will soon be updated with local papers.

You can explain to readers why you believe refugees deserve to be welcomed; point out the proud history of welcoming refugees; tell a positive story about the contribution that refugees have made in your community, or a group that is making refugees welcome; and ask the media to portray refugees in a more humane and dignified way.

“We want to challenge the negative rhetoric around refugees, to celebrate those who are offering and those who seek a welcome, and to build the political will for action to help more of those seeking sanctuary. We believe in the possibilities for strangers to become friends, to enrich our lives and enhance our stories.”

Christian Aid list five good reasons to change the story:

  • Britain has a proud history of welcoming people seeking refuge
  • Most refugees are not in Europe, but in much poorer countries
  • Refugees make up a very small proportion of the European population
  • Often the language used is wrong and unhelpful
  • Communities are working hard to provide a welcome

Prayer resources and liturgy around the refugee crisis have also been updated on the Christian Aid website.

“We believe we are all created equal with the image of God within us. We stand for a UK that refuses to turn a blind eye to the suffering of people seeking sanctuary. While many communities and churches are united in welcoming those seeking refuge, the response of the UK Government has not matched the scale of the crisis.”