Mediterranean Hope takes to the Synod the experiences of NGOs


Meeting with Open Arms, Sea-Watch and a “border pastor” on Monday, 26 August at Torre Pellice

Rome (NEV/CS41), 22 August 2019 – The voice of the NGOs at the next Waldensian and Methodist Synod. Rescuing migrants and first hand accounts of the non-governmental organisations that save lives at sea will indeed hold centre stage in a debate planned for Monday 26 August, within an important annual date in the Waldensian valleys.

Mediterranean Hope, Refugee and Migrant Programme of the FCEI (Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy), and the synodal Commission for the Diaconia organise a meeting entitled “Invece un samaritano lo vide e ne ebbe compassione” (However a Samaritan was moved with compassion at the sight) on Monday 26 August, at the Scroppo gallery, at via Roberto D’Azeglio 10, in Torre Pellice (To), from 12.30 pm to 2.45 pm.

The meeting will see speeches from  Riccardo Gatti, mission leader of Open Arms, Giorgia Linardi, Italian spokesperson of Sea-Watch, and pastor Randy Mayer of the United Church of Christ, active on the border between USA and Mexico.

As Christians we cannot turn away, when faced with what unfortunately happens every day in the Mediterranean – declares Paolo Naso, coordinator of Mediterranean Hope. This is why we are working alongside those who continue to provide hospitality and solidarity. We will, therefore, continue to support the new Samaritans who, when faced with the injured and the persecuted, do not just pass on by but, evangelically, come to their aid and take on the responsibility. We are, therefore, happy and proud to be able to propose to the Synod a discussion, starting with concrete experiences of three realities that every day practice compassion, humanitarian aid and solidarity”.

It provides an opportunity to thank all the people involved in sea rescue, hospitality and integration – adds Gianluca Barbanotti, executive secretary of the Waldensian Diaconia – It is not a circumstantial or formal thanks, but a sign of brotherhood at a time when those who are actively helping their neighbours are attacked often ferociously. We trust that whoever takes responsibility in Italy can realise the damage that they are causing to people and to the principles of democracy. Therefore, for the second year running we are delighted to accompany the work of the Synod with initiatives that provide a connection with the civil society”.

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