Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders concerned over refugee crisis in northern France

Anglican and Roman Catholic leaders working on both sides of the English Channel have expressed concern about the refugee situation in northern France. In a joint statement issued to mark World Refugee Day (20 June) they called for a “climate of welcome and understanding”.

In 2020, there were approximately 80 million forcibly displaced people around the world. 26.3 million of these are refugees. Among these, an estimated 1,500 people, including unaccompanied children and women with new-born babies, are living in forests or makeshift shelters in northern France. A non-profit organisation Human Rights Observers said that there were 973 evictions by police in Calais in 2020 alone, not including the dismantling of hundreds of tents each month.

In their join statement, a number of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops said: “we find it necessary to repeat calls for people to respond to the challenge of listening to the strangers amongst us who are exiled from their homelands. These are fellow humans who deserve to be helped to find places where they can live in dignity and contribute to civil society.

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Source: Anglican News Service