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Migration is a major pastoral issue for civic groups and churches. New communities enliven church life and community activity. They also encounter the challenges posed by often harsh immigration restrictions, scapegoating and economic uncertainty.
In the worldwide Catholic Church, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated in January each year, having been instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X. In 2015 it falls on 18 January, which is also the Church's World Peace Day (and for many the first Day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity).
'Immigration' is set to be one of the most-used words in the run-up to the General Election -- at least if UKIP, large sections of the media and much of the current government has its way.