Yesterday (29 January) 26 Kurdish refugees from Iraq were confirmed to have drowned off the coast of Samos Island, Greece, as they attempted to cross to Europe from Turkey. Ten of the dead were children; five boys and five girls, says the Anglican mission agency Us (formerly USPG).
Following the WCC/UNl conference on the refugee crisis in Europe at the Ecumenical Centre Geneva on 18-19 January, a statement has been issued entitled "Europe’s Response to the Refuge Crisis, From Origin to Transit, Reception and Refuge, A Call for Shared Responsibility and Coordinated Action”.
A High-Level Conference of governments, United Nations agencies and civil society organisations in Geneva, including churches and faith-based organisations, has underlined the need for urgent action to strengthen coordination and cooperation in Europe's response to the refugee and migrant crisis.
A painting auctioned at Sotheby's has raised nearly £550,000, which will be channelled through the Anglican mission agency Us (for and the Anglican Diocese in Europe to provide shelter, food and medicine to refugees in Europe, with a particular focus on Greece.
A group of 35 bishops and church leaders from 20 countries have gathered in Munich, Germany to discuss refugees and the role of the churches in Europe with a recommendation for safe passage to those seeking refuge.