Archbishop on Refugee Crisis: “Counter the myths that lead to prejudice and fear”

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Calais, 19 September 2015

Archbishop Peter Smith, Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference and Archbishop of Southwark, joined with the Anglican Bishop of Dover and the Catholic Bishop of Arras – the French diocese that encompasses Calais and the surrounding areas – for a ‘Day of Action’ in Calais to show prayerful solidarity with those who are exiled from their homelands.

The three bishops released a statement calling for people to respond generously to the refugee crisis.

Full Text

“We leaders of churches alongside the English Channel have joined in solidarity with this Day of Action in Calais and repeat our calls for people to respond to the growing crisis by showing generosity to those who are exiled from their homeland. These vulnerable men, women and children share in our common humanity and everyone can help them to live in dignity and contribute to civil society.

“People of all faiths and none can assist by providing financial and material support, time and skills, shelter and accommodation. Above all, we can pray and gather information to support pleas for better treatment in our nations and across the European Union. We wish to counter the myths that lead to prejudice and fear and urge politicians to envisage new policies that go beyond merely closing frontiers and employing increased numbers of security staff.

“We resolve to work together to encourage residents to create a climate of welcome for strangers and we trust that we will be joined in this by all who gather in places of worship along the frontiers of European nations.”

+ PETER SMITH
Archbishop of Southwark

+ TREVOR WILLMOTT
Bishop of Dover

+ JEAN-PAUL JAEGER
Bishop of Arras

French Translation

Nous dirigeants des Ă©glises aux cĂ´tĂ©s de la Manche ont rejoint en solidaritĂ© avec cette journĂ©e d’action Ă  Calais et rĂ©pĂ©ter nos appels pour les gens Ă  rĂ©pondre Ă  la crise croissante en montrant la gĂ©nĂ©rositĂ© Ă  ceux qui sont exilĂ©s de leur patrie. Ces hommes, femmes et enfants vulnerables partagent notre humanitĂ© commune et tout le monde peut les aider Ă  vivre dans la dignitĂ© et contribuer Ă  la sociĂ©tĂ© civile.

Les gens de toutes les confessions et sans confession peuvents aider en fournissant un soutien financier et matĂ©riel, le temps et les compĂ©tences, le logement et l’hĂ©bergement. Surtout, nous pouvons prier et recueillir de l’information pour soutenir les demandes pour un meilleur traitement dans nos pays et Ă  travers l’Union europĂ©enne. Nous tenons Ă  contredire les mythes qui conduisent Ă  la peur et les prĂ©jugĂ©s et inciter nos politiciens Ă  envisager de nouvelles politiques qui vont au-delĂ  simplement de fermer les frontières et d’employer un nombre accru de personnel de sĂ©curitĂ©.

Nous nous engageons Ă  travailler ensemble pour encourager les rĂ©sidents Ă  crĂ©er un climat d’accueil pour les Ă©trangers et nous espĂ©rons que nous serons rejoints en cela par tous ceux qui se rassemblent dans des lieux de culte le long des frontières des nations europĂ©ennes.