Several ecumenical organizations representing churches and Christian communities globally have issued an advocacy statement on the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe. Published a few weeks after the fire that destructed the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, the document affirms “the inviolable dignity of the human person created in the image of God” and urges the European Union country members to develop and implement equitable and just solutions respecting human dignity and human rights. It recalls that many migrants who come to European countries fleeing armed conflicts, famine, poverty or climate change “have often been forced to live for years in inhumane conditions” and to face “the anger and frustration of locals who feel that Europe has left them alone with the challenge of reception and care”.
The statement is published just a few days before the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be observed in the Catholic Church next Sunday 27 September 2020. In his message for the occasion Pope Francis recalled his words at the beginning of the year in his address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See: “Situations of conflict and humanitarian emergencies, aggravated by climate change, are increasing the numbers of displaced persons and affecting people already living in a state of dire poverty. Many of the countries experiencing these situations lack adequate structures for meeting the needs of the displaced.” The Holy Father urges public authorities, churches and citizens everywhere to welcome, protect, promote and integrate displaced persons.
The Good Samaritan (detail), 2010. Church of Saint Eusebius, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan. Mosaic by Reverend Father Marko Rupnik, SJ.