Churches urge Home Secretary to offer sanctuary to more refugees fleeing Syria

Syrians flee from bombing said to be by the Assad government. Image courtesy of Freedom House.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has urged Home Secretary Theresa May to provide sanctuary for more Syrian refugees fleeing persecution.

The Right Rev Dr Angus Morrison said he welcomed the generosity of UK Government ministers in providing aid and contributing to relief efforts in the region around the war-torn country but kindness must be matched by offering people safe haven.

The Moderator has teamed up with the Rev Phil Jump, Baptist Representative to National Refugee Resettlement Council, the Rev Gareth Powell, Secretary of the Methodist Conference and the Rev John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church to send a letter to the Home Secretary, which calls for more concerted action to help those in need.

It states: "We urge national governments, and especially our own UK Government, to support an innovative and compassionate response.

"We cannot let 2016 be a repeat of 2015 in terms of the chaos, misery and death on Europe's borders.

"Our plea is to respect the equal dignity of every human being, reflect on the past generosity of the Syrian people who have welcomed refugees from Armenia, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon and Iraq over the past century.

"Syria never closed its borders to those who fled their homes seeking safety and refuge."

The signatories are members of the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT)