Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), says Europe’s identity has gone up in flames together with the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, and that a common European policy for refugees is long overdue.
The Archbishop of Hamburg and ICMC Governing Committee member Stefan Hesse called the fire that destroyed Moria refugee camp in Greece a "foretold catastrophe." NGOs have denounced the camp's dangerous conditions for years. Archbishop Hesse says Europe must find the political will to welcome people seeking protection in a humane manner.
ICMC and many other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim aid agencies warn that the COVID-19 crisis adds an enormous burden to already strenuous humanitarian situations. NGOs call upon the European Union to relocate asylum-seekers in Greek island camps and urge its Member States to continue taking in asylum seekers in order to avoid a pandemic disaster.
As tensions grow at the border separating Turkey and Greece, ICMC urges European leaders to protect refugees fleeing violence and conflict. It asks them not to let the health crisis eclipse the need for solidarity and mutual care towards displaced people. The Catholic and Lutheran bishops of Scandinavia also urge countries to act in solidarity with refugees.