Pastors Judith James, Eddie Jjumba, and Pastor Chi Opia-Evans Hold Press Conference Calling for Immediate Government Action to Address Neglect of Urgent Humanitarian Crisis Faced by Refugees and Asylum Seekers From the African Continent

Toronto, August 23, 2023 — In light of the deeply concerning and distressing situation affecting Black refugees and asylum seekers from the African Continent in Toronto, Ontario. The Canadian Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Governments have grossly neglected the care and well-being of these vulnerable individuals, leaving them in a state of uncertainty and distress.

For over 30 days, three local churches – Revivaltime Tabernacle (RTT) Worldwide Ministries, Dominion Church International, and Pilgrim Feast Tabernacles – have provided crucial support, housing, clothing, nourishment, and essential care for over 600 men and women in their time of need.

The current situation is untenable and highlights the dire need for immediate and effective government intervention. These individuals have fled their home countries in search of safety and protection, only to be met with a system that has failed to provide them with the basic necessities and support they deserve as stipulated by the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (1948). It is with great disappointment that we witness the lack of comprehensive assistance and proactive measures from the authorities responsible for ensuring the well-being of all residents in our city and province.

The resilience and compassion displayed by the congregations of Revivaltime Tabernacle, Dominion Church, and Pilgrim Feast deserve commendation and recognition. However, the burden placed upon these organizations is unsustainable—and has reached crisis level.

We hereby call upon the Canadian Federal, Provincial, and Municipal Governments to urgently address this humanitarian crisis, and to provide:

  • An apology for the inhumane treatment these men and women have had to endure due in large measure to inadequate, limited, and inappropriate housing.
  • Immediate, interim housing solutions focussed on radically decreasing the number of patrons being housed at RTT, Dominion Church, and Pilgrim Feast.
  • Immediate, interim programming to address all medical, and mental health concerns of the men and women within the care of these churches.
  • An undertaking that the City of Toronto and/or the Province of Ontario and/or the Federal Government of Canada will reimburse RTT, Dominion Church, Pilgrim Feast, along with any and all other organizations that have endured financial strains not mitigated by the goodwill donations of the men and women of the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, Nation of Canada, and/or the Worldwide Community.
  • A commission/inquiry into the causes for, and consequences of the lack of what we believe to be a clear dereliction on basic governmental duties and responsibilities.

Canada sits as part of the United Nations’ Committee on Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Issues (Third Committee) which, among other duties, “discusses questions relating to …the treatment of refugees, the promotion of fundamental freedoms through the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, and the right to self- determination.” To allow this atrocity to continue is stark hypocrisy, of a nation who touts, we champion “human rights including the rights of women and refugees.”

At the press conference, churches representatives, community leaders, and concerned citizens will share their perspectives on the current crisis, actions taken by the churches, and the urgent need for government intervention. We invite media representatives to attend and report on this critical issue that affects the lives of fellow human beings who have endured immense hardship.

Press Conference Details:

Date: Friday, August 25, 2023
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Revivaltime Tabernacle, 4340 Dufferin St, North York, ON M3H 5R9


Representatives from Revivaltime Tabernacle, Dominion Church, Pilgrim Feast, community leaders, concerned citizens, and legal experts

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