Scottish faith leaders urge action on refugee crisis

By agency reporter
September 7, 2015

In its latest response to the refugee crisis, the Church of Scotland has participated in the following joint statement issued in conjunction with the Catholic Church in Scotland, the Muslim Council of Scotland, and the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities.

Our faiths instruct us not to fear the stranger, but to love our neighbour. We view the desperate situation facing refugees currently seeking sanctuary in Europe with growing alarm. We are compelled to speak out on this issue.

Our faiths in their different ways are rooted in the refugee experience, in what it means to be forced to leave a place where one's very existence is threatened in search of somewhere safer. Our scriptures teach the importance of love and compassion for all who are destitute. We are concerned by the dehumanising language used to describe people who are so desperate that they risk their lives, and we share the belief that all people have an inherent dignity and right to life.

We welcome the UK and Scottish governments' willingness to offer a safe haven to these desperate people. We urge them to back this with practical action to help as many refugees as possible, and we call on our communities to support this and make them welcome.

The statement is igned by the Most Rev Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow, the Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr Javed Gill, Convener, Muslim Council of Scotland, Ephraim Borowski, Director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities

The Church, together with these leaders in Scotland's faith traditions, has felt compelled to speak out in response to the current desperate situation facing the countless thousands of refugees fleeing war and persecution beyond Europe's borders.

The Church says "Theurgency of the situation has been met with rapid agreement among these diverse faith groups that this public statement is a necessary signal to our communities and the wider public that this crisis must be met with compassion and love.

"It is intended this joint initiative will be followed up with a meeting early this week to discuss the potential for our faith communities to offer support to refugees arriving in Scotland."

* Church of Scotland

* More from Ekklesia on migration and refugee issues:


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