Thursday, February 13, 2014

It is Christian to welcome the stranger

“Switzerland needs to continue being a place that welcomes the stranger”. 

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches (WCC), stated this, commenting on the results of the “Against mass immigration” referendum, which, last Sunday, with the majority vote of a little more than 50 percent, established the reintroduction of strict quotas for immigrants, EU citizens and asylum seekers, into the Swiss Confederation. 

The leader of the ecumenical organization expressed solidarity and closeness to the members of the Churches and ecclesial communities who, in light of the referendum, are devoting themselves to a more inclusive position. 

The spokesman of the Swiss Bishops Conference, Simon Spengler, has also spoken out against the outcome of the referendum, calling it “the consequence of a campaign based on a mental fear of foreigners”. 

To Spengler it is important to reiterate how Swiss society is enriched by immigrants, something that is realized “every day in parishes”.