Europe (MNN) — Seeds of empathy for Middle East refugees were planted in early September, following the tragic death of Aylan Kurdi.
A little over a month later, some European countries–Germany in particular–are reaping a harvest of regret.
“The open doors policy we are now implementing is not in line with either European or German law, nor does it reflect the CDU’s program,” several officials wrote in a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week.
“The now chosen path must be corrected, so we do not overwhelm our society.”
Despite heavy criticism, Merkel refuses to back down.
As European leaders struggle to keep unrest from becoming a full-blown crisis, European churches are rejoicing.
“This is an open door,” European believers recently wrote in an e-mail to Helen Williams, Freight Shipments Coordinator for World Missionary Press.
“These people, in their home countries, might not have been able to get this kind of access to the Scriptures.
“We might not have been able to reach them there, but now they’re here.”
Middle East refugees: an open door problem
Nonetheless, official steps are being taken to stem the flood of Middle East refugees into Europe.
Following talks among EU member states on Thursday, leaders decided to set up “hotspots” in Italy and Greece to filter new arrivals of refugees. In addition, the EU is increasing its border security force.
Middle East refugees: an open door for Christ
While animosity for the “open door” policy regarding Middle East refugees grows, joy is rising among Christians in Europe and the U.S.
“This is exciting for us,” shares Williams. “We’re also really thrilled that the Body of Christ in Europe…[is] taking advantage of this opportunity and reaching out.”
Thus far, World Missionary Press has received requests for Scripture booklets from Hungary, Sweden, France, Finland, and Germany.
“We also have a contact in Denmark, and they’re looking for 1.5 million booklets in lots of languages,” Williams says.
“We expect this to continue as refugees settle in different parts of Europe, because we’ve seen that the Body of Christ is aware and is taking advantage of this.”
WMP booklets are always provided free-of-charge, so they need your help to cover shipping and production costs. Help WMP send Scripture booklets to refugees in Europe.
“Even if someone only sent $5, we appreciate all gifts,” notes Williams. “This is a way you can give those people [Middle East refugee]) the Bread of Life and encourage them.”