Lutheran churches respond to European refugee crisis

Thousands of refugees who have fled war and persecution arrive in European countries, desperate for a life of dignity and safety.

European member churches are on the streets of European capitals with blankets, food, shelter, clothes and first aid kits to help their neighbor in need.

The LWF is calling on political leaders to uphold their duty to protect the vulnerable, which European states have committed to as signatories of the Refugee Convention.

Read more about how LWF member churches are responding #WhatChurchesCanDo

Join in advocating for protection and a dignified welcome of refugees #welcomingthestranger  


Get Involved

Use your voice via social media using:  #WhatChurchesCanDo

Interact with us on:  Twitter  Facebook  Instagram

The LWF Communion response


“Duty to protect refugees is not only a moral obligation”

The current refugee crisis in Europe is a pivotal moment in which churches can demonstate values of solidarity and human dignity, the LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge has said in a letter to LWF member churches in Europe on 4 September 2015.


“What have you done or failed to do for one of these?” 

Finnish Archbishop Kari Mäkinen has called for solidarity with refugees and encouraged parishes to raise their mission and diakonia allocations.



European member churches respond to refugee crisis

With thousands of refugees arriving in Hungary every day, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary (ELCH) has mobilized resources and volunteers to provide help to refugees in Hungary and in Budapest especially.


Walking with refugees: the church amid the refugee crisis in Europe

Lutheran Bishop Dr Tamás Fabiny likens the march of thousands of refugees from Budapest to Austria to the struggle for racial equality in the United States or opposition to apartheid in South Africa.


Welcoming churches for thousands “outside the gates of Europe”

LWF member churches in Europe continue to advocate for and extend hospitality to thousands of asylum seekers fleeing into the region mainly from Syria and other conflict affected countries in the Middle East.



Refugee crisis: Churches in other LWF regions express solidarity with Europe

LWF member churches outside Europe are expressing their solidarity with churches receiving refugees in the region through ongoing prayers, additional financial support and advocacy to governments.

Welcoming the Stranger

Welcoming the Stranger: Affirmations for Faith Leaders is the culmination of a High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Faith and Protection convened in December 2012 by UNHCR chief, Mr António Guterres, and attended by representatives of major faith groups and academics.
The text of the declaration draws upon principles and values of welcome that are deeply rooted in all major religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. It is expected to be used worldwide to foster support for refugees and other people displaced in their communities. (Read More)


Support LWF member churches’ work among refugees in Europe. The LWF is running a program through its member church in Italy offering psychosocial support to refugees, collecting funds for the immediate need in central Europe and planning capacity building for member churches to respond to the refugee crisis. To offer support, please donate through your church or alternatively, through the Lutheran World Federation.

Related News on Refugees

5 February 2019
1 February 2018
GENEVA, Switzerland
24 November 2017