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Conference on racism and xenophobia: Tveit (Wcc), “called to join forces and face the disruptive forces of fear and populism”

“We are here, because the Churches are called to join forces and face the disruptive forces of fear, xenophobia, racism and populism, and exclusive nationalism”. These are “the layers of one and the same wall that divides us as human beings. It’s us against them, our confidence against their vulnerability, our wealth against their right to life and a livelihood”. With these words, in Rome this morning, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of Wcc, opened the “World Conference on xenophobia, racism and populist nationalism in the context of global migration”, jointly promoted, for the first time, by the Dicastery for promoting integral human development and the World Council of Churches (Wcc), in partnership with the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. “We are here, together, for a very meaningful reason, for a demanding task, a call from God who comes to us through today’s many migrants”, Rev. Tveit said. “Many of them find themselves deprived of a secure and hopeful future that all human beings share. But we are also facing the fear of others, the faces of such fear, the political use or abuse of fear, and the cynical profit from the refugees’ and migrants’ fear”. The role of the Churches – the delegate of Wcc says – is clear: “Helping and giving security to these millions of migrants and refugees”; “making sure women and children are protected from any form of abuse and are treated with dignity, always, anywhere”; “redeeming those societies that are deeply divided by xenophobia, racism and hatred”.

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