2020 is barely underway, and already, at least two violent deaths have resulted from overcrowded refugee camps in Greece. A 20-year-old Yemeni man was killed Friday; earlier this month, a young man died after being attacked by a fellow refugee.
Officials expect more unrest this week on the Greek island Lesbos. AMG International’s Bill Passons explains, “The refugees are landing on those islands… they’re getting stuck there… and that’s creating all kinds of issues as [the islands] were already overcrowded.”
Refugees don’t ask for the violence that rips them from their homes, but many find Christ along the way.
A growing problem
New arrivals spiked 50-percent last year, with eight out of 10 people coming to Greece through the Aegean islands. Last week, officials re-opened the migration office and promised to speed up deportations.
Refugees are searching for more than a new place to live. “They’re searching for… their value, searching for a reason for existence; [wanting] just to be seen and to be understood again. So, all this searching definitely produces opportunities for us to share [the Gospel],” Passons says.
One such man, given the name “Ali” for protection purposes, had to leave his Syrian hometown when it was attacked by ISIS. His home and career were gone, replaced by poverty and homelessness.
“How could we not care? How can we who are Christians, who know what hope is, who are stewards of the Gospel, not care?”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller