(Vatican Radio) Methodist Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Vice Moderator of the World Council of Churches' (WCC) Central Committee, says Christian congregations have a vital role to play in helping to respond to the current refugee crisis but more still could be done by them. Bishop Swenson was among the participants at a high-level conference hosted by the WCC in partnership with the UN agencies to discuss how they can proactively influence and shape coordinated collective practical responses to the crisis. The 2-day conference in Geneva was attended by some 80 leaders of governments, UN agencies and NGO’s from countries affected by the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Bishop Swenson said the various Christian denominations have a vital role to play in responding to the refugee crisis and are doing a great deal. However she said she believed that probably they "could step up and do more.”
Bishop Swenson said there was a lot of valuable ecumenical collaboration between the various Christian denominations and stressed that it was important for them “to work together” and “look for signs of hope” for these refugees who are “suffering so much.”
Asked about the sharp divisions within the European Union over how to respond to the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, Bishop Swenson praised Germany for its hospitality and generosity. “I really want to applaud Germany’s welcoming role” ….. it’s a model for the other (EU) countries who, she said, “need to step up and be welcoming as well.”