Thinking Anglicans

European church leaders consult on refugee crisis

The World Council of Churches recently held a consultation on the refugee crisis in Europe. This press release was issued before the meeting: Refugee crisis to be discussed in Munich by 35 bishops and other church leaders from 20 countries

The international refugee crisis will be the focus of a consultation of 35 bishops and church leaders from 20 countries, to be held on 29 October in Munich, Germany. There will be representatives from churches in the most affected regions and from most of the church families in Europe: Orthodox, Catholics, Lutherans, Reformed, Methodist and representatives from the Middle East and Africa, as well as representatives from ecumenical organizations and from church-based humanitarian and refugee organizations.

They have been invited by the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, and the bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, who is also chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)…

Afterwards, ACNS reported: Church leaders urge “safe passage” to those seeking refuge

The suffragan bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd Dr David Hamid, has joined other bishops and church leaders from a number of denominations in calling for safe passage to those seeking refuge.

The recommendation is one of a number contained in a communiqué issued following a church leaders’ consultation in the German city of Munich…

The full text of the communiqué can be found on the World Council of Churches website.

Also, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland has published a roundup of actions being taken by churches and Christian aid agencies: Churches respond to the refugee crisis.

And here’s a report on one specific activity: Anglicans to support reception centre for refugees at remote lighthouse on Lesvos.

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Erika BakerPat O'NeillPeter EdwardsKateSusannah Clark Recent comment authors
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Peter Edwards
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Peter Edwards

No comments here as of when I’m typing this, and half of the nine on the TA report on C of E bishops’ letter to the UK PM were fussed up about the veracity of Jesus’ birth narratives. Nothing either on +David Hamid’s (excellent) blog on the DioEurope website… What really DOES animate us apart from sex and gender issues? That’s terribly unfair, and I almost withdraw it in this, my first outing on TA since becoming a pensioner – Yea! Did I miss the Action Plan of the UN or of the EU? I certainly didn’t miss that of… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Peter Edwards, I’m not quite sure what you’re saying. Churches are actively engaged on the ground, there is plenty of local fundraising, Christian Aid is present, many bishops have spoken out. Can more be done? Definitely! Should more be said? Quite probably! No comments on TA… I know there are many who will disagree with me here, but I maintain that it makes sense to spend your energies where you can most change the status quo. And so I get involved with the Green Party or other organisation when I’m concerned about the environment, with local aid projects when I’m… Read more »

Susannah Clark
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Okay, well if you want a discussion on the refugee crisis (I am personally unclear about what needs to be done) here are a few questions as kickstarters: 1. How do we differentiate between refugees and economic migrants, or should we even try? 2. If half the world would like the (arguably) better opportunities of living in Western Europe, where exactly do you draw the line (if you even need to)? 3. Do the people of the UK actually want a further influx of migrants (whether economic or seeking asylum)? Is there a democratic will to open the doors? 4.… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Susannah, ok I’ll bite. 1. Yes, we must try to differentiate, because refugees are protected according to international law. 2. I don’t believe that half the world would like the opportunity of living in Western Europe. It’s not true that the majority of people in poor countries are queuing up to leave. Most only come when life in their own countries becomes unbearable. The Economist published research that what determines whether people leave their countries or not is not absolute poverty but whether they have a functional government or whether all state institutions have broken down. 3. Interestingly, the same… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

6. Should migration be reversed? Where would you end? I’m being reminded of the memes of American Republicans calling for immigrants to leave and native Americans asking when they are planning to go. Migration has to be stable… but consider that at the moment about as many people from the EU have come to Britain as there are Britons living in EU countries. The difference being that the ones coming here tend to be young and looking for work, whereas those living abroad tend to be retired Britons moving towards the sun. In the issue I just mentioned, the Economist… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

As a Christian I feel I can only believe in unrestricted migration for equality of opportunity regardless of country of birth.

My countervailing difficulty is this: as a Christian should I welcome an influx of other religions into the country? Is preserving the Christian fabric of the country a higher obligation than allowing unchecked migration on equality grounds? It might be. And until a hear rational discussion of that to help me make up my own mind, I don’t feel I have much to contribute on this subject.

Peter Edwards
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Peter Edwards

Maybe I wasn’t clear, but I was surprised that this item, posted on TA, on the WCC website and on +David Hamid’s Blog had not attracted any comment in more than 48 hours. My point includes, saliently, that the current situation with refugees, wherever and from wherever, is far too critical to be left to ‘charity’ to address; and that the world’s leaders have been inadequate, thus far, in bringing any real solutions to bear – neither in war-torn areas of political instability and utter incompetence, nor at the point of delivery in action for fellow human beings seeking refuge.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

“I don’t believe that half the world would like the opportunity of living in Western Europe. It’s not true that the majority of people in poor countries are queuing up to leave. Most only come when life in their own countries becomes unbearable. The Economist published research that what determines whether people leave their countries or not is not absolute poverty but whether they have a functional government or whether all state institutions have broken down. “

I recommend everyone read the poem quoted in this article:

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/no-one-puts-their-children-in-a-boat-unless-the-wa/

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Thank you, Pat, I have saved that poem.