The message challenges discourses and practices of European asylum and migration policy, calling on Europeans and their institutions as well as churches across Europe to protect a million of the most vulnerable refugees and migrants by bringing them to Europe.
The message underlines the positive aspects of the year 2015 and following years in which a million people found protection in Europe. The message also criticizes the current tendency of European countries to keep refugees and migrants out or at the border.
The message notes with particular concern not only proposals in the new “asylum and migration pact” of the EU but also ongoing practice at the European external border to bar access to protection.
The general assembly also focused on safe passage for refugees and migrants, right to family life in migration and efforts of churches to unite in diversity.
Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe moderator Prof. Dr Goos Minderman reflected that there is a huge support for hosting refugees and welcoming migrants at local and regional levels in churches and society across Europe. “Policies have, however, resulted in hundreds of kilometres of fences and walls being built to keep them out,” said Minderman. “We need to reach out to churches and coalitions of the willing to tear down these fences and walls in Europe.”