Christmas resource for churches highlights lived experience of refugees

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Churches are being asked to play a five-minute video that highlights the "significant" link between the original Christmas story of the birth of Jesus, and the lived experience of millions of refugees in the world today.

"Far From Home" has been produced by the Sanctuary Foundation and is being released in the same week as the charity's founder, Krish Kandiah, visits Bethlehem to advocate for children affected by the war in Gaza. 

Churches are being encouraged to premiere the film for free during their Sunday services this weekend in the hopes of "reminding audiences not only about the struggles that were faced that first Christmas, but about people around the world today who have nowhere to call home or who feel far from home".

"Too many people have been made to feel unwelcome in the UK. This Christmas we would love to tell a different story," he said. 

The short animation film has been produced by videographer John Bowen and is narrated by BAFTA-award-winning presenter Jeriah Kibusi who this year, aged just 12, helped the Sanctuary Foundation present one of their Great Big Live Assemblies to over 200,000 children.

The story in the video is through the eyes of a child whose family are forced to leave their home and struggle to find shelter. 

"The hard-hitting video provides a powerful insight into the events surrounding the first Christmas that contrasts sharply with the traditional 'silent night, all is calm' image," said the Sanctuary Foundation.

"It is particularly relevant in light of the Israel-Gaza conflict and all the children on both sides of the border who find themselves far from home this Christmas because of the violence."

The video tells of "what the Christmas message is all about and how welcome and hospitality are at the very heart of it", added Kandiah. 

Pastors interested in showing the film can sign up here.