Although migration made headlines a few years ago, it is not a new phenomenon. People have been wandering the earth from the early days of mankind. But with current population figures, there is a strong desire to regulate migration. The European Commission is negotiating a new Migration and Asylum Pact with member states. That’s by no means an easy task.
Please, join us in prayer for a pact that is protecting those in need but not neglecting genuine, valid concerns of European citizens.
Recently, the EEA issued updated policy positions on the refugee or asylum crisis:Europe’s Refugee Crisis: What to think about it? But to be fair, the crisis is first of all a political crisis. Emotions run high, both on the national and European level. Finding an agreement addressing both the concerns of refugees and of European citizens is not an easy task. The publication of a European Migration and Asylum Pact, therefore, has been postponed several times and is now expected in September 2020. Given the diversity in opinions across Europe, the Pact presented will be a hard-fought compromise that will satisfy hardly anybody. We anticipate an emphasis on reduction of the number of those arriving, speedy procedures of those landing on our shores, and an increase of the number of so-called voluntary returns. That’s the political reality of our continent right now. But we should not forget that we are not talking numbers.
The Migration and Asylum Pact is about people. People who have fled war or natural disasters or poverty, to find safety and rest for themselves and their families. Many Evangelicals have been reaching out to these refugees resettling in their neighbourhood in genuine love and compassion. They have provided emergency aid, language classes, and helped people to find rest. Churches across Europe have grown or have seen a revival because of refugees joining. Let’s thank God for that!
Meanwhile, we are well aware that not everyone applying for asylum in Europe is a refugee in desperate need of protection and not every refugee is integrating smoothly. That calls for clear guidance and decisive action. However, these should be based on core Christian and European values like hospitality, justice, solidarity and compassion rather than fear. Let’s hope and pray that the European Commission will strike the right balance.