AFRICA/KENYA - The Bishops: we need to reach out to refugees

Friday, 22 June 2018 refugees   migrants   culture  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) – To reach out to refugees, embrace their cultures, sharing goods with them: is what the Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Seafarers of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) are asking the faithful, in a special campaign launched on the occasion of World Refugee Day, celebrated on Wednesday 20 June. Mgr. Virgilio Pante, at the head of the Commission, explained that the campaign intends to create awareness among the population in order to welcome and live a "culture of encounter" with the communities that have fled from poverty, hunger, violence, persecution and from the effects of climate change in their native land.
"Pope Francis reminds us of the attitudes we should all have: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating. We integrate ourselves by bringing our language and our customs that enrich mutual cultures", says Mgr. Pante in a note sent to Agenzia Fides.
"Sharing a meal is much more than spending time with other people to eat together" - insists the President. "Food is one of the basic human needs and is basic for all of us. It is a powerful means that brings people together in a moment of joy, relaxation and true communion", he adds. The Bishop also encouraged the faithful to reflect on the cultural diversity of the various ethnic groups and use them as a tool to promote unity and understanding in society.
The Day just celebrated represents a key moment in which refugees are offered support.
For his part, Bishop Pante has guaranteed the commitment of the KCCB in bringing hope and improvement to those affected. He asked the faithful to "pray for the families divided and destroyed by the conflict", recalling in particular "those who are unable to make the journey and all those who have tragically lost their lives".
World Refugee Day is an initiative of the UN Refugee Agency for refugees which aims to remember the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees around the world, but also to create a culture of acceptance in the nations and in sharing. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 22/6/2018)