“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31: 8-9 NIV.
God is there
The above verse builds on “Love your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. And Love your Neighbour as yourself.” Refugees have become neighbours to us in Europe. That causes all kinds of questions, tensions and even fears. And yet we as European Christians are asked to meet and treat them according to the above Bible verses. We can also trust God that He is not just laying a burden on us but gives the love and strength to glorify Him by doing His will. And, in God’s sovereign plan, let’s pray that these new arrivals will be used by the Lord to bless Europe.
It cannot be ignored
Europe’s asylum and refugee crisis is immensely complicated and, for many, it is overwhelming. There are no simple solutions and we should question any leader who implies that there are.
It is a crisis that cannot be ignored. We cannot leave desperate people on a beach, nor expect another nation to take them so that ours does not have to. It is not acceptable for refugees to be treated in inhumane ways, for unaccompanied children or the sick to be ignored.
It is a crisis that cannot be ignored. Refugees need long term help to settle successfully into European society.
It is a challenge that is not going to go away and could get much worse. There are no easy answers to solving the reasons why people feel compelled to risk everything and come to Europe. Not only are more refugees likely to suffer. Already, there are signs of more widespread socio-political trouble.
Some fear that the Christian identity of their nation is threatened. But, if we are to live up to our Christian heritage, then we need to take the Bible seriously when it repeatedly commands us to welcome and assist the vulnerable foreigner and then to help them as they integrate. This can involve speaking up against prejudice, xenophobia and inappropriate national populism. This should also mean partnering with refugees themselves along with ethnic and international churches who want to share in the work of welcome.
The partners behind The Refugee Campaign are thrilled to see so much wonderful ministry happening across Europe to reach out to refugee both in emergency response and in helping refugees to settle, recover and integrate. We rejoice at the news of lives being changed and some Evangelical churches seeing many new members. The Refugee Campaign partners are working together to share best practice, resources, stories and prayer needs. On these web pages, you will find a growing library of fantastic resources, FAQs, EEA’s political positions and other helpful material.
We call upon the Church to continue to take up its responsibility to love in word and deed, to pray and to speak up.
And we would love you to journey with us, connecting on social media and sharing what you are doing so that we can encourage one another.
May the Lord help us to do everything for His glory alone.