The Church in India welcomes and is close to migrants and refugees, trying to remember and put into practice the message of Pope Francis who said: “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ.” This is what Bishop Alex Vadakkumthala, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Office for Labour explained to Agenzia Fides.
“India has also been a home to refugees: Tibetans, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankan Tamils and many others. India is second to Bangladesh as the largest refugee-receiving country in South Asia. Since the Independence in 1947, India has received significant numbers of refugees fleeing conflict or persecution, not only from some of its neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Tibet, but also distant countries like the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda. Despite no provision in domestic law for refugees, the government of India has nevertheless put in place positive administrative frameworks and judicial decisions supporting refugee protection practices,” said Bishop Vadakkumthala. Issues of migration and refugees in India have to be addressed with a human rights perspective and the Gospel. (...)