Imagine a world that would force half of a country out of their homes. To put things in perspective, that would be like every man, woman and child leaving home in the 29 states west of Ohio and Kentucky, and north of Texas. In fact, that would mean that more people would have left that country than have left any other country in recent years. Imagine a world in which one out of every five displaced persons is from that country.

Oh wait. You don’t have to imagine any more. Welcome to Syria.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/11/world/syria-refugee-crisis-when-war-displaces-half-a-country/

Most started by fleeing to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. But now, more and more are headed to Europe, as you know. You’ve been hearing about it on the news.

One is now often hearing the stat that there are more refugees than at any time in history since World War II. But those stats were as of mid-2014.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-27921938

The truth is, by June 2015, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was already saying that refugee numbers had now reached the highest ever recorded.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/18/world/unhcr-refugees-most-in-history/

To put things in perspective the UNHCR maintains the page at:

http://data.unhcr.org/dataviz/

Can you imagine when 2015 is graphed? The number of refugees could end up being DOUBLE any other hear on their current timeline!!!! 60 million people forcibly displaced? Nearly 1% of the whole world? More than 40,000 per DAY having to leave their homes and homelands? We can’t even imagine.

Of course, this also spawns articles like…

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/matthew-fisher-syria-is-hell-but-lets-not-mistake-that-some-who-are-escaping-are-country-shopping

Sure some are country-shopping. But many are just trying to survive. I asked a great friend who works with migrants to comment on this Matthew Fisher article. He wrote, “There is no concerted effort by Muslims to move to the West, nor do hardline Islamists want people to leave their countries. … Nor do Syrians coming to America pose any national security threat. Rather, he’s using the worst human crisis in decades to fear monger and abuse people’s xenophobia towards Arabs and fear of Muslims to rally them against accepting refugees that need refuge quite badly.

People talk of a plan created by Muslims to conquer the West- how would such a plan be disseminated? Mosques? Media? Conversations? No such evidence exists. … A much more appropriate reality is that Europe and North America offer a much higher standard of living and opportunity- so of course we should expect refugees to desire these countries.”

He added, “Syrians are very educated and overall experienced a good deal of social mobility over the last few decades. … His interaction with a few refugees in a city or two and the Zaatari refugee camp doesn’t constitute anything though- not a survey or a reliable basis from which to learn.

And he shared, “I spent time with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and migrants in the USA. In Lebanon, I met former Syrian business owners who were extremely wealthy, but their city was invaded and they lost it all. Heck, I met one from a suburb of Damascus that lost a big factory and a huge house. He was living in a literally tent and had been for two years.

On a personal note, he observed, “There are millions of refugees now. The common thread? They all humans going through a horrible disaster of their reality that I pray we never have to experience. I say we let them all in.” (Thanks for speaking up, C.)

Either way, it’s a problem. Back in the 80’s, I (Doug) used to teach at a college in Cincinnati. In one of my classes, I remember helping students grapple with the fact that there were

What are YOUR thoughts on the refugee/migrant crisis? How do we handle it? What do we do about it? Please click “Comment” under the web version of this article. Thanks in advance for taking time to share.

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