The Salvation Army’s international leader, General André Cox, has issued a strong plea to all European leaders to respond urgently and comprehensively to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking assistance within the region.
‘From wherever these men, women and children have come, and whatever the circumstances that have driven them to undertake perilous journeys,’ says General Cox, ‘we cannot either turn a blind eye or simply do the minimum in terms of aid and assistance. These are our brothers and sisters and we must help with all urgency and with great practicality.
‘I call on governments to work together to devise and implement practical and caring solutions for the immediate and longer-term future.
‘The Salvation Army will continue its wide-ranging ministry among refugees, providing food, water and other essentials while also offering spiritual and emotional support.
‘For 150 years The Salvation Army has been welcoming people in God’s name, standing alongside those who struggle to get by and others who are ignored or even rejected by the communities in which they live. As the citizens of Europe welcome thousands of people into their towns and cities, The Salvation Army – through its national programmes but also in its local centres – will be waiting with arms open.’
The Salvation Army is mobilising as many of its resources as possible to assist refugees in many European countries. It currently has significant programmes operating in 14 countries and is planning on opening more services in the near future. This does not take into account the one-to-one care provided by individual Salvationists and through Salvation Army corps (churches) across Europe.