Afghan refugees seek asylum in a church in Belgium
People seeking asylum are living under virtual house arrest in Germany, sheltered by churches from deportation to the war-torn nations they’ve fled. The practice of granting asylum in churches to people fleeing persecution is an old custom which German churches have followed since the 1980s.
Protestant and Roman Catholic churches are united in this effort against the German government, which receives the most asylum applicants of any nation in the world and is trying to deport many people seeking refuge.
The tension has led to incendiary words from government officials; the Telegraph reports that officials have criticized the principle of church sanctuary, although they’ve had to walk back some of the rhetoric.
From the Telegraph:
Even the ancient principle of church sanctuary may be under threat. The numbers being given shelter by churches have risen so high that Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister, recently demanded a stop to the practice and compared it to Sharia law.
The New York Times also covered the situation, exploring the history of the Sanctuary movement in Germany.
How do you think this situation will be resolved? How should the German government respond to the practice of sanctuary? How best can they help people fleeing strife?
Posted by David Streever