Students to host prayer vigil for refugees

Syrian refugees are welcomed by Italian authorities upon their arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino international airport Monday. Photo credit: Associated Press

By Bailey Brammer | Staff Writer

A prayer vigil for refugees across the world will be held today at 12:15 p.m. in front of the Bobo Spiritual Life Center. The vigil was organized by Better Together BU, Bears Care and the Spiritual Life Center.

“A lot of people are aware of Syrian refugees but are unaware of the many other refugees from every continent,” said Medford, Ore., junior Micah Furlong. “Every continent is affected, and we’re really focused on spreading awareness and spreading support.”

Furlong expects at least 100 people to attend the vigil and will be passing around a covenant at the gathering that students can sign. The document will inform the Refugee Services of Texas that the city of Waco is willing and able to assist refugees and give them new homes.

Since 1978, hundreds of refugees from more than 30 different countries have received aid in making Texas their new home, and more help is always needed, according to Refugee Services of Texas.

“If refugees come to Waco, we pledge to be supportive of them and make this place a home for them,” Furlong said. “We’re trying to get as many people in the community as possible to pledge to support refugees.”

Bears Care will also be hosting a fundraiser for which all proceeds will go to refugees. The Hopeful Wandering will be performing at Common Grounds on at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and tickets are $5 through Common Grounds.

“This is a way to come together for Baylor as a community,” said Houston junior Memona Niazi. “People from all different demographics, all different backgrounds, all different states… this is a campus of students and young leaders saying that we support this cause.”

Bears Care and Better Together BU are also planning to host a panel discussion on the refugee crisis toward the end of November, which will include Baylor professors from various studies.

Niazi and Furlong both hope that by organizing these events, Baylor students and the Waco community will recognize that there are not many differences between refugees and themselves.

“Refugees are exactly like you and me. They were in the middle of going to college, or they just graduated high school, or they just started a business, and suddenly their country is thrown into turmoil,” Furlong said. “They’re smart people they’re hopeful people; they’re loving people … they just need some place to live.”