German bishops’ conference: grant sanctuary to refugees only as a last resort

As thousands of migrants and refugees enter Europe from Africa and Asia, the migration commission of the German Bishops’ Conference has published a brief document on the tradition of granting sanctuary to those who have sought refuge in churches.

Noting that seeking sanctuary (or asylum) in churches is an ancient tradition, the commission said that decisions should be made at the local level and that sanctuary should be granted “only as a last resort for the prevention of imminent human rights violations.”

The commission also stated that to its knowledge, German parishes and religious communities are currently sheltering 454 refugees.


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