“Meet refugees in service and love”

Syrian refugee children at a fence facing the Aegean Sea coast, Greece. Photo: ACT/ Paul Jeffrey
Syrian refugee children at a fence facing the Aegean Sea coast, Greece. Photo: ACT/ Paul Jeffrey

Letter to European member churches

(LWI) – The General Secretary of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Martin Junge, is calling upon the European member churches to continue supporting and advocating for refugees. “I write to thank you for what you have done already in support of refugees, to encourage you to uphold your witness even when challenged, and to urge you to continue your churches’ vital diaconic services and advocacy,” Junge says in the letter which was sent out today.

Junge reaffirmed the “profound concern” the LWF has for refugees. In June 2016, when the LWF Council adopted a resolution, Standing with Refugees, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR reported that the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide had reached the peak number of 65.3 million. With no safe passage to Europe, “a record number of drownings is expected in the Mediterranean this year,” Junge adds.

Meet refugees and migrants in service and love. Continue offering support, actions of welcoming and of inclusion, legal and medical support and all the many other activities and support you have been offering already.
LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge

In these times, member churches are called upon to “engage in holistic mission”, the letter says, asking churches to proclaim “God’s unconditional love to every human being, about their dignity and worth” and to advocate with national governments to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, reminding them of their commitments under international human rights law. “There must be no erosion of the hard-won global commitment that the victims of persecution and war must be protected,” Junge emphasizes.

He urges the LWF member churches to share the document, Welcoming the Stranger, and to provide practical and legal support. “Meet refugees and migrants in service and love. Continue offering support, actions of welcoming and of inclusion, legal and medical support,” Junge elaborates.

LWF member churches are invited to sign the UNHCR petition, as the LWF Council did on World Refugee Day (20 June) this year. “I firmly believe that the moral and theological voice is required of us in the churches,” Junge concludes.

GS letter to churches (EN)

GS letter to churches (DE)

GS letter to churches (FR)

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