“Those who are already stuck on either side of the border must receive urgent and adequate humanitarian aid”, says the evangelical body as it appeals to “Europe's Judaeo-Christian values of human dignity, justice, compassion and solidarity”.
The European Evangelical Alliance has condemned the the Belarusian government's “use of human beings”.
Thousands of migrants from the Middle East gathered in the border with Latvia, Poland and Lithuania in what was seen as an attempt of the Belarusian’s President Aleksandr Lukashenko to destabilise the European Union.
On Friday 19 November, it was known that Belarus had cleared a camp with around 2,000 people and relocated to a place with better humanitarian conditions. This could be a turning point in the crisis.
The European Evangelical Alliance said the efforts of EU countries to prevent migrants from crossing their borders was “understandable”. “However, 1000s of men, women and children are now suffering terribly: those still in Belarus, living without food or shelter. And those who have crossed into the EU are having to hide in the forest or are being kept in terrible conditions, often in closed camps. As winter sets in, this cannot continue”.
In such crisis situations, “lives of human beings are far more important than politics”, says the European Evangelical Alliance, which has previously been vocal in this issue with The Refugee Campaign and their support of Christian initiatives such as the Refugee Highway Partnership Europe.
The EEA “calls upon all governments involved and the European Union as a whole to remember the human beings at the heart of this matter. These people deserve compassion. They must not be ignored or demonized”.
“Blame games” are not a solution, the body says nor “imposing more sanctions or building fences”.
“Those who are already stuck on either side of the border must receive urgent and adequate humanitarian aid”, and “fair and transparent processes” should be offered to all asylum seekers now stuck in the region.
“Latvia, Lithuania and Poland need the appropriate assistance, and should accept the assistance, of other nations to respond compassionately and fairly to this crisis”.
The European Evangelical Alliance “calls upon Christians to pray that this crisis can swiftly be resolved in a way which upholds Europe’s Judaeo-Christian values of human dignity, justice, compassion and solidarity”.
Read the full statement of the European Evangelical Alliance on Belarus here.