“Have No Fear” – Churches call for intensified efforts

2016. június 20., hétfő

Remembering World Refugee Day, the Conference of European Churches has issued a press release on their recent high-level consultation organized jointly with WCC, CCME and PKN. Two representatives of RCH also attended the meeting in Lunteren, Netherlands.

Press Release No: 16/17
20 June 2016

Today, 20 June, is World Refugee Day. The United Nations estimates that every minute 8 people flee from war, persecution, or terror. This day is observed to bring attention to their collective struggle and to address the widespread global displacement of millions of people.

Refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced and stateless persons often risk everything, including their own lives, seeking peace and safety. It is these people that brought more than 60 representatives of churches and ecumenical organisations to Lunteren (Netherlands) from 14 to 16 June to call for an improved response to the global refugee crisis. Those gathered at “Have No Fear” identified opportunities for collaboration on joint assistance and advocacy initiatives.

The first hand experiences of refugees and asylum seekers were central to their work in Lunteren. The group heard stories from refugees who had made difficult and dangerous journeys to Europe. They also visited a center outside of Amsterdam where many men are housed as their asylum claims are processed.

The conference concluded with a joint public appeal to churches and church-related organisations to increase their participation in public debates and advocacy efforts. Participants addressed a number of issues at both the national and European level. They stressed that work must be done to correct public perception about European capacity to receive refugees and that more must be done to alleviate suffering and offer basic services. The experience of churches in working on the frontline must be leveraged to cultivate a fair and compassionate view of the current situation in Europe.

The statement also stresses the importance of policy in protecting the dignity of every human. It repeats calls for Europe to develop safe and legal channels of entry, and to respect the right to protection as enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Such means are necessary to end the immense suffering caused by persecution and conflict, but also widespread smuggling and trafficking.

For the full text of the statement from Lunteren, please click here.

Have No Fear was organised through a partnership of the Conference of European Churches, the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, the World Council of Churches, and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.

Balázs Ódor, Ecumenical Officer, and Dóra Kanizsai-Nagy, Head of the Refugee Ministry, represented the Reformed Church in Hungary at the recent CCME/WCC/CEC/PKN consultation on migration, titled, “Have No Fear!” During their time at the consultation, Balázs Ódor gave a presentation discussing a general overview of the situation in Hungary regarding migration, touching on topics such as the attitude of the government as well as the attitude of citizens. Dóra Kanizsai-Nagy also presented a case study in the panel on Churches working for refugee prtection, detailing what the church can do to assist refugees and providing examples based on the – RCH refugee ministry.


Source: CEC website

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