“As Christians, we are called every day to generously practice hospitality”, said Bishop Samuel Aguilar, from the Methodist Church of Peru, as he lamented cases of xenophobia, discrimination and violence suffered by thousands of Venezuelans in different parts of Latin America.
“It’s time to show solidarity, to consider as our own the needs of our Venezuelan brothers and sisters”, added Aguilar.
The bishop’s comments were shared to participants of “Qonakuy”, the Methodist Church of Peru’s biannual roundtable on mission, held in the Peruvian capital, 16-18 May.
Peru alone has already received more than 750,000 Venezuelans, 80% of which are currently living in Lima. The Methodist Church of Peru itself, a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), welcomed three families of Venezuelans to live at the “Casa Metodista”, the church national headquarters.
“Many of our brothers and sisters from Venezuela have arrived here after overcoming so many different challenges and here they face even more problems, such as accommodation, access to food and health care, as well as difficulties in finding employment”, said Aguilar.
The national superintendent of migrations reported that more than 11,400 temporary residence permits have been granted to Venezuelan migrants. Between 500 and 800 Venezuelans enter the country daily.
"In any moment, we as church asked if we should welcome them or not,” said Aguilar. “We just did. We opened our doors. I believe that God is judging us today based on the way we treat migrants and refugees worldwide".