We, the Board of Oikosnet Europe, are extremely shocked at the murderous terrorist attacks of Paris last week. The families and loved ones of the victims who were killed in such a barbaric way in Paris on Friday, 13th November 2015 are in our thoughts and prayers as are all the other victims of terrorist attacks all over the world. We, with our members and friends, feel especially for all the people in the Middle East who are suffering the most and we hold them in our thoughts and prayers.
We are concerned at the current situation in Europe and we fear the events of Paris will increase division in our societies. We watch with concern the increasing use of worldwide terrorism against those who try to escape it – the refugees.
Thousands of men, women and children are seeking rescue, shelter and a better life in Europe. They are abandoning their lives where freedom and peace are no longer possible.
We are grateful for the commitment of our members and all people in civil-society who are facing this crisis with courage, and who hope to help refugees through their words and their actions. At the same time we have major concerns about the increase of nationalist, racist and anti-democratic tendencies in European civil-society and some government policies.
In this situation we think of the words of Jesus Christ where it says: ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25, 40.
Everyone in Europe has a shared responsibility and we are also aware that the Western World contributes to the causes of this crisis.
As Christians we are called to steadfastly witness our faith, and we encourage our members to continue to be actively engaged with and participate in the support of those effected by the migration crisis in Europe and share with them the hope that we unite in Europe to find sustainable solutions.
November 2015 The Board of Oikosnet, Europe
Kirsten Beuth, Evangelische Akademie, Wien, Austria
Sören Lenz, Liebfrauenberg, France
Nicola Murray, Corrymeela Community, Northern Ireland, UK
Jaap van der Sar, Oikos, Netherlands
Marielisa von Thadden, Evangelische Akademie Bad Boll, Germany
Konstantinos Zorbas, Orthodoxe Academy of Crete, Greece