St. Patrick’s Catholic parish in Hudson, Wisconsin was asked to help receive five Syrian refugee families, a total of 11 adults and 15 children. Hatemongers stirred up opposition, and the church and community divided. (Read that sad story here, as reported by MPR.) In Hudson, and across the country, hatemongers stir up fear against refugees, saying that the government doesn’t vet their applications well enough. Truth – political refugees get screened by multiple government agencies and Syrian refugees get the most stringent vetting anyone has been able to devise. Here’s how it works. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Syrian refugees
This week, the already-terrible refugee crisis in Europe got worse, as Turkey and the E.U. reached an agreement that severely restricts refugee movement, and Balkan nations closed borders, leaving refugees stranded in makeshift camps. Continue reading
December 28 is the saints’ day of the Holy Innocents, an appropriate day to think about refugees today. The Gospel of Matthew tells the story: wicked King Herod wants to kill the baby Jesus. Herod tries to trick the wise men into leading him to the baby, but these foreigners escape from his surveillance and return to their own country. An angel comes to Joseph in a dream, warning of the danger to Jesus. Joseph and Mary and the baby flee the country by night, going to Egypt and staying there until Herod dies. In a rage, Herod turns to murder, killing all of the male children under the age of two in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.
Today, Central American refugee children flee gang violence, every bit as deadly as Herod’s rage. Continue reading
In an eloquent cri de coeur, Lina Sergie Attar wrote about the agony of Syria:
“Now, the everyday violence and death Syrians witness is no longer recorded in full force unless events surpass the daily ‘acceptable’ quota of death—like it did on August 16 in Douma, after more than 100 people were killed by a regime aerial attack on a crowded marketplace. These kinds of mass tragedies, like the chemical weapons attack in 2013 and the Daraya massacre in 2012, capture the world’s attention—headlines, outrage, condemnation—for a few moments before Syria’s suffering once again fades to white noise. When the country has been reduced to smoldering ashes and its people have been forced into a mass exodus to new countries and new homes, our capacity to document—to speak or write and chant—dwindles. History collapses into a simple etcetera.”
More than four million refugees have fled Syria. Millions more remain inside Syria, but no longer in their own homes, internal refugees forced to flee for their lives. Continue reading