Invited by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe, EEA General Secretary, Thomas Bucher, signed a declaration on refugees and the Christian imperative to welcome those who are in need of our protection.
The declaration starts with an encouraging observation: “Many individuals, groups, organisations and not least churches, have responded with empathy, warmth, and concrete hospitality to many fleeing from the war in Ukraine.”
But the almost thirty religious leaders who signed the document also heard about persons trying to flee Ukraine in recent weeks who were discriminated against based on their ethnicity, religion or origin. They declare that based on both their Christian convictions and international law, it is unacceptable that such incidents occur.
The leaders observe that the generous welcome of refugees from Ukraine is different from the one received by many people escaping from other wars or disasters in recent years. “Europe can and must provide safety for all who are in need of its protection.” That’s quite a task but the joint statement echoes the biblical encouragement: “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7).