Universal’s Social Programs Have Helped Nearly 13 Million People in 2022

Humanitarian aid has helped 131,000 refugees fleeing war, ethnic or religious persecution and famine

Founded in 1977 by Bishop Edir Macedo, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is now present in 143 countries on five continents, which represents 74% of the world’s nations.

Bishop Renato Cardoso, responsible for headquarters Universal in Brasil, explains that “bringing the Word of God to other peoples involves challenges, such as learning the language and customs of that nation and communicating the Gospel in a way that it is well received. But God himself gives this wisdom. What is lacking are more workers available to meet the ‘Go for all nations’…”

And wherever Universal Church takes the missionary work of its Bishops and Pastors and reveals the power that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have to transform and save lives, the Church also provides humanitarian aid to the most fragile social segments of each society. From January to November 2022 alone, 12.9 million people were rescued from the cold, lack of food and water, weather tragedies, addiction and loneliness.

Thus, throughout this year, Universal donated 1.2 million food bags and 3.7 million meals, which represents 9.7 thousand tons of food. The 17 social programs run by the Church also distributed 1.9 million pieces of clothing, 440,000 hygiene kits and 51,000 blankets during the period.

But among these social segments assisted by social programs, a portion has increased year after year: refugees. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the number of people forced to leave their homes is at the highest level since records began.

TRUCKS LOADED WITH HOPE

According to a UNHCR report, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which caused the fastest and one of the biggest crises of forced displacement of people since World War II – and other humanitarian emergencies, from Africa to Afghanistan, raised this number. to the dramatic 100 million mark.”

To assist people displaced by wars, violence, persecution and hunger, Universal social programs in several countries have mobilized to help them. In 2022, millions among Afghan, Cameroonian, Chilean, Colombian, Congolese, Guatemalan, Haitian, Honduran, Iraqi, Mozambican, Nigerian, Peruvian, Salvadoran, Sierra Leonean, Syrian, Ukrainian and Venezuelan refugees were sheltered in several countries in Europe, America and Africa.

“It is God’s command that His people give special attention to foreigners and refugees, for the people of Israel themselves were foreigners in Egypt, as reported in the book of Exodus. This shows the care that God has for these people”, clarifies Bishop Renato.

From Universal in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Romania, Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal and France followed trucks with 431 tons of food, 12 thousand liters of water, in addition to personal hygiene products, clothes and other donations for 106.7 thousand Ukrainians who are being assisted and receiving social support from Church volunteers from Moldova, Poland and Romania.

“We can see how important the support for the Ukrainians in this very difficult moment was and has been. Many [refugees] were desperate, without food, without shelter, having left everything behind. [They came] without having a direction and, arriving here in Poland, they received our support. In addition to receiving physical support (food), they also received the most important thing: spiritual support”, reported Diógenes Pereira dos Santos, responsible for Unisocial in Poland.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

The social work carried out by Universal’s social programs with exiles is recognized even by foreign authorities. The president of Moldova, Maia Sandu, sent a

letter of thanks to the country’s Church for the humanitarian aid provided to Ukrainians who are refugees in that country.

In correspondence written in Romanian – the nation’s official language -, Maia highlighted Universal’s dedication, which “donated its resources, time and energy to help these people – most of them women, children and elderly people, who moved from their homes against their will”.

Likewise, Valige Tauabo, governor of the Province of Cabo Delgado, in Mozambique, saluted Universal in that African country “for the prompt response and solidarity with families displaced as a result of attacks by terrorists”. Behind this act, we know that there is love, empathy, solidarity and compassion for children, young people, women and the elderly who have lost everything they had and today are looking for a new opportunity and dignity for their lives”.

Mozambican refugees are natives of the Cabo Delgado region, who had to leave their homeland in search of a safe place, fleeing attacks provoked by insurgents.

TIRELESS

Universal in Cyprus, a European country located on an island in the Mediterranean Sea, has supported refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq (Kurds), Congo, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cameroon. They are refugees who were forced to flee because of war, ethnic and religious persecution.

Bishop Renato Cardoso: “the persecution and intolerance of Christians has grown and will only increase as we approach the end of time. We need to accelerate the spreading of the Word while we still can and it is allowed”.

In addition to European and African countries, in Brazil, Bolivia, the United States, Colombia and Mexico, Venezuelans who left their home country for lack of basic resources for survival are helped by volunteers from the social programs of Universal Anjos da Madrugada and Unisocial .

When asked about the 487,000 volunteers (384,000 in Brazil and 103,000 abroad) who work in the 17 social programs maintained by Universal, Bishop Renato left the following message:

“One word defines the Universal Church: tireless. And this is experienced every day by Church pastors, workers and volunteers around the world. Our pleasure is to reach the end of the day tired, but happy for having done something for the Kingdom of God. To all of this Universal family, we say: 

Don’t get tired of doing good! Always remembering to guard your own soul while seeking to save others.”