The Refugee Situation in Italy
UPDATE: In February of 2016 we visited with churches and ministries in Rome, Sicily and Pescara to better understand the refugee crisis and the church's response in Italy. The need is great and churches are becoming a community to people in dire need of recovering from trauma and opportunity to restore their lives. Read our blog post to learn more about specific programs we hope to help launch in the coming year.
People labeled as "migrants" by the media put their lives in the hands of human smugglers who extort money and then pile men, women and children into boats sending them off the shores of Libya. These people are asylum seekers fleeing civil unrest, persecution, and potential genocides in their home countries. They risk everything for the hope of a better life in Europe and, hopefully, the boat they pile into makes it safely to shore or is rescued in the sea. They then begin the arduous journey of an asylum seeker in Europe.
According to the UNHCR, more than 1 million refugees traveled across the Mediterranean to reach Europe in 2015 -- most arriving in Greece & Italy. Nearly 4,000 asylum seekers died in the sea. Learn more
The need is great in Italy. The Church is called to care for the foreigner, the widow and the orphan (Lev 19:33-34; Deut 24:19-11...and many more). Who better to respond to the refugee crisis? But we cannot ask any one church in any one town to do so alone. We invite the Church at large to participate in responding. Learn more: A Christian Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in the Mediterranean
Will you join us on this journey? Find out how here.
Countries of origin of migrant arrivals in Italy*:
*ordered greatest number of arrivals to least; Jan-Apr 2015. Source: International Organization of Migration