Polish church speaks out on situation at Poland-Belarus border

Lack of access to humanitarian assistance for the asylum seekers at the Belarus-Poland border is a major concern. Photo: Grzegorz W. Tężycki via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA)
Lack of access to humanitarian assistance for the asylum seekers at the Belarus-Poland border is a major concern. Photo: Grzegorz W. Tężycki via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA)

Committed to “stand up for those who have no voice” 

(LWI) - We have a commitment “to care for the weakest and to stand up for those who have no voice. Among those, migrants and refugees have a particular place in the Biblical message,” wrote the Synod of the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland (ECACP), in a statement on 17 October calling for the protection of the rights of asylum seekers and migrants at the border between Belarus and Poland. 

In recent weeks, thousands of people have been stuck in limbo, as they attempt to cross the border into Poland and thus the European Union. Many have suffered in the forests on the border and are without means of sustenance and safety. 

Regardless of their origin, status or religion, all asylum seekers and migrants “must be treated humanely and in accordance with the standards of international law,” the ECACP Synod wrote. This “means providing the necessary care and the opportunity to benefit from international protection procedures.” 

The Synod also called for a "responsible public discourse in Poland, which would allay the fears of fellow citizens, rather than stoking fears of the different other, the cost of it is paid by our neighbors who are the most vulnerable.” 

Finally, the Synod called on “parishioners not to remain indifferent to the victims of this crisis and, as much as possible, to engage in helping those who are now in particular need.”  

LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge said that lack of access to humanitarian assistance for the asylum seekers at the Belarus-Poland border was a major concern. 

“The Bible teaches us to welcome the stranger," added General Secretary Junge. “The LWF joins the church in an urgent call for humanitarian access to enable support, particularly medical attention, food and water, shelter and clothing.”  

Read the statement (in English)