This past year, Germany has been in the media spotlight both in America and Europe with its “open door” policy for accepting refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East. Christian communities such as Protestants and Catholics have been supporting the German chancellor Angela Merkel in her decision to make Germany an accepting country for refugees. However, with recent reports of sexual assault and over-crowding of German space, religious leaders are admitting that Germany should set limits on migrant flows.
Churches and monasteries are amongst the many organizations that have been taking in and aiding this refugee crisis. In the beginning, while others opposed the refugee influx, and demanded borders to be closed, religious groups went as far to greet the incoming refugees at train stations as they arrived from their long journeys. Although these churches have opened up their spaces, and feel that it is their religious duty to take in these refugees, they acknowledge that Germany cannot be held responsible for all of the refugees in Europe. Even Angela Merkel, a Lutheran, feels that it is necessary to start imposing limits on who enters the country. Not only are refuges going to face restrictions, but also economic migrants who are not seeking asylum or facing persecution will not be welcoming into Germany.
At first, religious groups hesitated to mention anything about the restrictions on refugees, especially during the holiday season. Not until a reported 600 women filed criminal complaints about the refugee men did church groups take notice. After these incidents of sexual harassment, majority of German citizens thought that Germany needed to reduce the number of refugees. The German people are now claiming that they not only need to protect the human rights of refugees, but also the human rights of their women citizens.
Heneghen, Tom. “German Churches Tone down Refugee Welcome as Problems Mount.” Religion News Service. Religion News Service, 12 Feb. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.