WCRC joins calls for just treatment of migrants

The World Communion of Reformed Churches joins other religious and humanitarian organizations in calling for a just response to the increasing number of people dying while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to seek asylum in Europe.

Rt Rev John Chalmers, the moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland, said migrants seeking to reach Europe from Africa and the Middle East are fleeing from man-made disasters including war, desperate poverty and persecution and deserve help. “These innocents are seeking sanctuary. As human beings, made in God’s image, they have equal value as you or I, and so we must do all we can to offer love and practical support.”

Rev Chris Ferguson, WCRC general secretary, has said, “God didn’t create borders—we did.” Both literal borders and borders of comfort are standing in the way of what Christ has called us to do. As Christ broke down barriers between people, inviting all to the feast, so should the church.

“We need to be prophetic now,” said Samuel Amedro from the Eglise Evangelique of Morocco. The church is called to help the least of these, to help those who need it most. As Luke 4:18 says: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

“We are convinced that there is the need to find other ways to guarantee the life of those fleeing war and persecution,” said Pastor Massimo Aquilante, president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy. “We renew our proposal to open a humanitarian channel enabling refugees and asylum seekers to safely enter Italy and then continue to their destinations within the framework of a shared European reception program.”

“Only a unified European Union—which is still looking for a common and deep soul—can face this emergency. A European common ground cannot be based only on financial stability and legislative bureaucracy. Europe was built on peace and freedom. These values though have not reached Lampedusa.” said Paolo Naso, national coordinator for “Being Church Together” in Italy, referring to the Italian island where many find first refuge.

Please join sisters and brothers around the world as we pray together:

God of the Way,

You have been walking with your people throughout history, accompanying them in their pilgrimage and quest for a land that allows them to live in harmony and in peace.

Today we cry, echoing the pain of those who are still on their way, for the ones forced to leave their homelands and become pilgrims again by the evil powers of war, scarcity, exploitation, economic injustice, pollution and climate change, among many other reasons.

We come to you confessing the many ways in which we are in complicity with those powers, searching now for forgiveness and wisdom for your church.

Empower us with your Spirit of Life and give us the courage to stand in solidarity with all your wandering children around the world, seeking in hope for a better life. Surround us with the power of your Love to transform your world into the land where “honey and milk will run like water.”

In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Below you will find additional information and resources concerning the current immigration crisis in Europe. If your church makes a statement or takes an initiative, please share it with the Communion via wcrc@wcrc.eu.

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