Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece met on the Greek island of Lesvos on 16 April to demonstrate their concern for the situation of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who have come to Europe fleeing from situations of conflict and, in many cases, daily threats to their survival.
The three church leaders urged people not to ignore the humanitarian crisis created by the spread of violence and armed conflict, the persecution and displacement of religious and ethnic minorities, and the uprooting of families from their homes.
“The tragedy of forced migration and displacement affects millions, and is fundamentally a crisis of humanity, calling for a response of solidarity, compassion, generosity and an immediate practical commitment of resources,” reads their message. “From Lesvos, we appeal to the international community to respond with courage in facing this massive humanitarian crisis, and its underlying causes, through diplomatic, political and charitable initiatives and through cooperative efforts, both in the Middle East and in Europe.”
The three leaders said they are one in their desire for peace and in their readiness to promote the resolution of conflicts through dialogue and reconciliation.