On the occasion of the World Refugee Day observed on 20 June, the Conference of European Churches together with the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) has issued a call to churches and parishes across Europe to hold services commemorating “those who have died on their journey to find a dignified life in Europe through an annual day of prayer.”
“In this period of Ascension and Pentecost filled with hope and light that are intended for all humankind, we are deeply saddened and disturbed that the way of the cross, of suffering, hopelessness and death, continues for thousands of our human brothers and sisters on the outer borders of the European Union,” says the CEC–CCME message issued by CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger and CMME General Secretary Dr Torsten Moritz.
“As churches and Christians our divine calling is to be witnesses and servants of the resurrection and of a new life in justice and peace for all, regardless of their ethnicity, nationality or religion. Let us jointly remember the documented as well as the undocumented persons who have died at European borders, let us share our sorrow in prayer,” reads the message.
This call was affirmed by the CEC General Assembly held in Budapest in July 2013. In past years, many churches and parishes across Europe have taken up this call and held commemoration services around the World Refugee Day.
The resource titled Day of intercession in memory of those who have lost their lives at the borders of the EU – Information, Intercessions and Ideasis available and has been updated last year by CCME together with support from German Ecumenical Committee on Church Asylum, the Evangelical Church in Berlin, Brandenburg and Silesian Oberlausitz and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).