Uprooted people are those forced to leave their communities: those who flee because of persecution and war, those who are forcibly displaced because of environmental devastation and those who are compelled to seek sustenance in a city or abroad because they cannot survive at home.
Service to uprooted people has always been recognized as diaconia - although it has been peripheral to the life of many churches.
As government policies become more restrictive and public hostility against foreigners intensifies in every region, churches are challenged as never before to make a choice: will they choose to be the church of the stranger and take the side of the uprooted or will they choose to turn away or ignore the problem?
In some countries, to work with the uprooted is dangerous.
Uprooted people remind us that ours is an unjust world.
Millions have been uprooted by the violence: 30 million are internally displaced within their countries' borders while another 19.5 million have become refugees in other countries.
As the numbers of uprooted people increase worldwide, the will to provide protection for them is declining sharply.
While societies ultimately cannot cope with unlimited numbers of displaced people, too little attention and too few resources are directed to preventing and resolving the conditions that uproot people in the first place.
International legal standards are not upheld with regard to the particular needs of uprooted women and children for protection.
For those uprooted from their communities, the loss of human dignity is an overpowering consequence of displacement, regardless of class or gender.
Uprooted people experience multiple losses: of family, friends and community; of familiar spiritual, religious and cultural structures that nurture and define basic human identity; of social status; of property, employment and economic resources.
Violence, rejection and racist hostility against uprooted people compound traumas of forced migration by restricting mobility, participation in society and the ability to obtain employment and services in places of transit or refuge.
The threat and effects of sexual violence against uprooted women and girls violates their human dignity and integrity and undermines their participation in society.
The challenge of prophesy and of Jesus' teachings is to liberate and equip Christians to have the courage to work for alternative community, to work for peace and justice, which is to address the causes that uproot people.
The biblical challenge to build inclusive community requires us to accompany the uprooted in service and witness.