Watch out for Syrian refugees, not just for VIRUS!

The tragic situation of the Syrian refugees on the borders of Eastern Europe cannot be turned off and silenced by the Covid-19 affair which, although serious, is the only one to occupy the media.

Rome, March 5, 2020 – “It is not a question of adding tragedy to tragedy but of breaking the vortex of pain that clouds the human heart and through fear creates further fences between us and them. It is not possible to keep silent about deaths and inhuman living conditions caused by the hand of men towards other men,” said Fr. Mauro Lazzarato, Regional Superior of the Scalabrinians in Europe and Africa.

Injured by these events, Scalabrinians Missionaries denounce, for those who have a voice but cannot express it, that “an international political situation, presiding over a conflict triggered by territorial hegemonies, has long been generating waves of forced displacement of people who, neither on land nor at sea, are able to find a landing place to escape the certain death caused by the bombardments. The tragic images of a rubber dinghy being pushed back into the sea are only the latest in a long series of events that see other deaths at sea and in the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesvos due to drowning and dense overcrowding,” added Fr Lazzarato.

As Scalabrinians, we call on Europe to establish as soon as possible what is necessary to deal with this emergency in order to save lives at sea and on land, close the blackmailing agreements with Turkey and bring the case of Syria back to the UN. We also ask that the Italian Church, promoter of dialogue between the churches of the ‘Mediterranean, frontier of Peace’, to coordinate what was requested in the appeal by three cardinals to the European bishops: to relocate the refugees from Lesvos to Europe.

In the spirit of the evangelical beatitudes we are convinced that God will give first place to those who are suffering these injustices; unfortunately on this earth we are also stealing the last one from them,” concluded Fr Lazzarato.


Scalabrinian Missionaries Press Office