European churches call for commitment to all refugees
Easter statement from Christian leaders welcomes Ukraine response, calls for solidarity with all seeking protection
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) General Secretary, Rev. Anne Burghardt has joined church leaders from many different Christian churches and organizations in Europe who are calling on governments and people on the continent to continue welcoming all refugees in need of protection.
In an Easter statement, published by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), the Christian leaders note the “empathy, warmth and concrete solidarity” that has been shown to Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the Russian invasion of their country. European states and the European Union, the statement says, have “responded by activating some of the most generous legislation and programs in history.”
Stressing the biblical commitment to welcome the stranger, the Christian leaders say that the Ukrainian response “is different from the one received by many people escaping from other wars or disasters in recent years.” Though there have been examples of compassion, solidarity and hospitality in these situations too, they say, “in many cases doors have remained closed.
” We hope and believe that the welcome of refugees from Ukraine, so far extended by Europe, will set an example and be a commitment to the welcome of refugees in the future.
The ecumenical statement concludes with the hope that “the welcome of refugees from Ukraine so far extended by Europe will set an example and be a commitment to the welcome of refugees in the future – irrespective of their origin, color of skin, gender, orientation, ability or residence status.”
The statement is signed by leaders of African instituted, Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Methodist, Orthodox and Protestant churches and organizations from across the European continent. The CCME monitors European policy developments in the areas of migration, asylum, integration and anti-discrimination, providing a platform of exchange and shared advocacy opportunities for churches working in these areas.
LWF's is coordinating a response through its member churches in Ukraine and the neighboring countries to ensure support to Ukrainian refugees as well as their safe and dignified arrival. The work is supported by LWF's funding partners, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.