Inden for de seneste fem uger har der været afholdt tre møder i forskellige økumeniske fora i Europa, hvor flygtningekrisen har stået øverst på dagsordenen.
Den 20. – 22. oktober var ledere fra Porvoo-kirkerne samlet til møde I Edinburgh, Skotland, hvor de bl.a. udtalte: “On a daily basis people risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean sea; people walk long distances to cross into Europe because they do not have any other choice; also in parts of Europe, for example, houses have been set alight, so that refugees do not find a home; and there is a rising anxiety in some parts of Europe that democracy is being eroded by intimidation towards strangers seeking refuge and security.
The Primates and Presiding Bishops were unanimous in reiterating that we should not stand back and remain silent, but must both speak and act, remembering the words of Jesus; ” For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt. 25:35). They were also unanimous in their concern and prayers for Christians and other minority groups threatened by extinction in the Middle East. “
En uge senere, nemlig den 29. Oktober havde Kirkernes Verdensråd sammen med den evangelisk-lutherske kirke i Tyskland indkaldt til en kirkeleder-konsultation om den europæiske flygtningekrisis I München. I det afsluttende kommunike siges det bl.a.:
“While we deeply deplore the crises forcing people to leave their homes, we welcome all refugees in Europe as we see in them the image God, and as God’s children they bring their gifts to our continent.
Today there is evidence of a renationalization of politics. However the Church is both local as well as universal, and in the life of Churches we resist tendencies to work in isolation and we affirm our deep commitment to a universal and ecumenical horizon.
Many in Europe are willing to provide assistance and help to all refugees. At the same time there is a high degree of fear and anxiety. In addition we observe polarising tendencies that cause instability. In the face of this challenge the Church promotes collaboration, cooperation and solidarity.
The need of sustainability of support systems was evident in many reports. The refugee crisis is not merely a short-term issue. The Church always takes the long view; we are ready to accompany people into their future. A new paradigm is emerging in Europe – living with fragility, but as Christians we understand how our fragility can also become our strength.”
Endelig var bestyrelsen for Konferencen af Europæiske Kirker samlet i Etchiadzin, Armenien, hvor man bl.a. mindedes 100-året for det armenske folkemord. It was in this context that the Governing Board of the Conference noted with deep concern the growing refugee crisis and the current responses to it. Those fleeing terrorism, conflict and seeking protection within European borders are increasingly met with hostility, suspicion, and even violence. While thousands of people arrive by boat and land fleeing from conflict and violence, calls to close borders and turn the persecuted away are growing louder. Even as children drown and trains filled with refugees are turned back, barbed wire is unfurled and border security is tightened. The Governing Board is concerned that the Soul of Europe is in danger of being undermined.
The Governing Board reiterates its conviction that all countries in Europe are called to protect those fleeing persecution and war. Europe´s heritage of wealth, safety, and democracy is accompanied by a responsibility to welcome people in need of protection with dignity and respect. As we prepare anew for the coming of Christ in this world, we are reminded that our Lord was once a small child fleeing from the threat of death.”
Udtalelserne fra disse tre økumeniske møder viser, at kirken I Europa har en stemme, når det gælder flygtninge og vort ansvar for dem, samtidig med at kirken sætter handling bag ord ved at tage godt imod de mennesker, som på flugt fra forfølgelse søger beskyttelse i Europa.
Christiansfeld, tirsdag, den 1. december 2015
Mogens S. Mogensen