World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / Czech Church of the Brethren expresses concern over government stance toward refugees

Czech Church of the Brethren expresses concern over government stance toward refugees

Czech Church of the Brethren expresses concern over government stance toward refugees

In the past years, many have taken the unsafe route across the Mediterranean Sea to seek refuge in Europe. Here, a Syrian refugee family has made it onto the shore of Lesbos, Greece, in 2015. Photo: Paul Jeffrey/WCC

06 August 2018

After the Czech Republic announced it would not accept any refugees from a group of 450 people rescued from a fishing boats in the Mediterranean Sea near the Italian shores, the Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren sent a statement to the government encouraging help for the refugees.

Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš and foreign minister Jan Hamáček said on 15 July that the Czech Republic would not meet the urgent demands of Italy and would not help any of the migrants. France and Malta agreed to host 50 refugees each.

“We want to express our concern about this attitude of the Czech government,” reads a statement from the council. “We see it as showing a lack of solidarity both towards people in immediate danger and to our partners within the European community.”

The council believes that the stance of the Czech Republic does not correspond to the principles of the civilised world based on Christian values.

“Already last summer, the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy asked us for our cooperation in a situation in which their country was being expected to cope with a large number of migrants coming across the sea, which is a difficult burden without the support of other European countries,” reads the statement. “We are sure that our state is able, in cooperation with other European partners and institutions, to take appropriate action against economic migration and organized human trafficking.”

The church delivered the statement to the Government Office of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague.

After the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren is the second biggest church in the Czech Republic, with over 75,000 members.

Synodal Council encourages help for refugees

Mediterranean Hope - Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy

WCC member churches in the Czech Republic