Ecumenical News International

Protestant Church shocked at refugee tragedy

October 4, 2013

Darmstadt (epd). The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) has deplored the refugee calamity off Lampedusa as a great "human and political tragedy". He was horrified at the death of people seeking a new future, said the Chair of the EKD's advisory commission for migration and integration, Volker Jung, on Friday. "My thoughts and prayers are with the survivors and relatives of the victims," Jung added. He is also the president of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau.

On Thursday over 100 people lost their lives when a ship sank off the Italian Mediterranean island. It is estimated that up to 1500 people lose their lives each year when fleeing over the Mediterranean. "That is not an African or Italian tragedy, it is a European one," Jung declared. He added that precisely land-locked European countries like Germany had a responsibility to help share the burdens of those EU member states situated on the external borders.

That included providing opportunities for legal entry for refugees, which would then need to be followed by a legally binding recognition procedure, in Jung's view. He concluded, "Refugees should not have to entrust themselves to gangs of smugglers who then make money with the distress of other human beings, only because there are no other routes." epd

4 October, 2013



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