07 In Search of Peace

posted Jan 25, 2018, 9:52 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 25, 2018, 9:52 AM ]
In behalf of the world's often unwanted refugees and migrants, Pope Francis in his World Day of Peace message titled 'Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in Search of Peace' pleads: "In a spirit of compassion, let us embrace all those fleeing from war and hunger, or forced by discrimination, persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands."

But instead of experiencing an embrace of warm welcome, millions of migrants and refugees are confronted with "fences and walls built to keep them far from their goal," of finally finding a safe and secure place to call home, says Pope Francis. In many places, wealthier countries are spreading the harmful rhetoric, claiming refugees and migrants pose risks to national security or are too costly to welcome. He challenges this thinking as demeaning to "the human dignity due to all as sons and daughters of God."

Several European nations continue to build fences and walls to keep out refugees fleeing armed conflicts and dire poverty in places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. And along the U.S.-Mexico border, a nearly 700-mile barrier exists to keep out thousands of scared, poor Central Americans and Mexicans from entering the U.S. There are indications that the existing barrier will be extended even further. Even countries in Asia and other continents harbour these misgivings.

The Pope adds, "Those who, for what may be political reasons, foment fear of migrants instead of building peace are sowing violence, racial discrimination and xenophobia (that is, fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners), which are matters of great concern for all those concerned for the safety of every human being."