After an estimated 2,500 refugee drownings in the Mediterranean Sea and scores of immigrants settling in makeshift camps throughout Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced a new plan for her city.
“Paris will not stand by and do nothing as the Mediterranean becomes a graveyard of refugees,” Hidalgo said as she announced the establishment of a resettlement center in North Paris.
Many refugees had settled in a makeshift camp in Calais called “The Jungle.” Officials are closing that camp as they make alternative arrangements. French Episcopalians are proactively assisting the refugees.
“The partial closing of the Jungle … is a source of tension, anguish, and misunderstanding to many of the refugees,” said Regan du Closel, a lay member at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Paris, where she and fellow parishioner Thomas Girty have organized a compassionate and material response to the needs of refugees arriving in France after fleeing persecution and civil war in their home countries.
“As a Christian, one is struck by how often Christ himself turned towards the stranger, the foreigner, the outcast, and how he himself was born and grew up on the road of exile,” said Closel. “Is it not our role as Christians … ‘the hands and feet of Christ’ … to reach out and do everything we can to give these people back their place in the sun?”
Pray for French leaders as they seek humanitarian ways to cope with their refugee crisis, and for the Episcopal church there as they minister to the refugees.
The article above is a simple summary of these news articles:
BBC: Paris mayor announces plan for migrant camp
The Telegraph: Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo to open refugee camp in the city
Episcopal News Service: Refugees face fresh challenges; Episcopalians in France step up response