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Germany: 4th Catholic Refugee Summit in Essen. Focus on Church action

“Challenges of church refugee work in dealing with xenophobia” – this is the main theme of the 4th Catholic Refugee Summit that is taking place in Essen today. At the invitation of the Migration Commission of the German Bishops’ Conference (DBK), about 150 representatives of national and diocesan Caritas offices, host communities, experts and volunteers have met at the Carl Mine to discuss xenophobia as a challenge for refugee aid in the Church. In his opening speech to the Summit, the Archbishop of Hamburg, Mgr. Stefan Hesse, special representative for refugee issues and chairman of the Migration Commission of the German Bishops’ Conference, drew the participants’ attention to the fact that “especially in difficult times, when charity and solidarity with people seeking protection seem to have faded, the fact that many church representatives and refugee aid workers have gathered here is a source of inspiration and strength”. Mgr. Hesse recalled that the first summit in 2015 was an opportunity to exchange views after the great migration of that summer: “we experienced a wave of solidarity, support and compassion in Germany”. This, the archbishop recalled, developed into a forum for discussion, especially about the reception of many people who had fled their home countries to escape war and civil conflicts.

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