Pope Francis condemned Europe’s fear and indifference to immigration during his second visit to Lesbos, Greece.
During his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis criticized Europe’s indifference to the plight of immigration as a “civilized shipwreck.”
On Sunday, the leaders of the Catholic Church arrived at the Mavrovuni refugee camp, where nearly 2,200 asylum-seekers are currently living there. He is the second day of a five-day visit to Greece and Cyprus, which is mainly about immigration.
“I ask every man and woman, all of us, to overcome the paralysis of fear, the indifference of killing people, and those who ignore the margins indifferently are sentenced to death,” he said. “Please let us stop this civilized shipwreck.”
Using Latin, he called on the Mediterranean to maintain a bridge between cultures.
“Let us not let our ocean (mare nostrum) become a desolate sea of death (mare mortuum),” he said.
He also condemned the exploitation of immigrants for political purposes and lamented that Europe has entered “an era of high walls and barbed wire.”
The last time the Pope visited Lesbos in 2016, when more than one million people entered Greece from Turkey, the island became one of the busiest islands Border crossing. At that time, Francis brought 12 Syrian Muslim refugees Go home with him Board the Pope’s plane.
No such transfer was announced this time, but the visit to the refugee camp still sparked hope among its residents, some of whom gave birth to children while waiting for asylum applications to be processed.
Enice Kiaku from Congo gave birth to Guiliain two years ago. He was born on the Greek island, but he did not have an identity document.
“The arrival of the Pope makes us very happy,” Kiaku told the Associated Press. “As refugees, we have a lot of problems here and a lot of suffering.”
When Francis arrived, he was welcomed by a group of African women singing for him. He patted the heads of children and babies while visiting the camp and taking selfies.
Also accompanied by Greek President Katerina Sacraropoulou and European Commission Vice-President Margaritas Cinas.
Greece recently built a steel wall on a section of its border with Turkey and intercepted ships carrying migrants from the Turkish side.
It denies allegations of summary deportation of immigrants who have arrived in Greek territory, but human rights groups say that such obstructions have occurred multiple times.
Francis also listened to the opinions of camp residents, including Christian Tango Mukaya, the Congolese father of three, who thanked the Pope for his unity and appeal to Europe.
The refugee said that he lost his wife and their third child during the journey and hoped that his popularity before the Pope would allow them to reunite.
Mavrovouni is a temporary shelter, awaiting the construction of a “closed control facility” on the island.
These new Closed campFunded by the European Union, it is already operating on the other three Greek islands Samos, Leros and Kos.
Amnesty International stated that the new EU-funded detention camps on the Greek islands violated Athens’ commitment to provide international protection to those in need.