In early April, we spent 10 days interviewing Christian refugees in Greece. This minority group within the broader migrant population is extremely vulnerable and threatened as a direct result of their religious beliefs. Our findings highlight the urgent need to provide them with a safe place away from the threats and attacks they are currently trying to live with in the refugee camps.
“They attacked me for 48 hours because I was talking about my Christian faith and I had a bible with me. After 2 nights, I looked like a dead person. I was beaten in the head and beaten with wire and cables. It was only me and my friend but there were about 100 of them. Only God saved us.“
- Anon, aged 31
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During our visit, we met with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Athens, who very strongly urged the need for sergegation. They have already set aside a piece of land to set up a Christian Hospitality Centre, to provide a safe refuge for up to 500 Christian refugees. This need is urgent, and we must act quickly before things escalate even further.
“We have been threatened in the camp – they are threatening to kill us because we are Christians. They know we go to church. I have to lie and pretend. We are scared. There is fighting every day in the camps. They use knives sometimes.”
- Anon, aged 48
Since returning to the UK, we have received regular messages from the refugees telling us that the situation is getting worse. They are praying that people in the West will help them get out of the camps as soon as possible. Please help us.
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There is much evidence that ISIL have been carrying out targeted, ethnic/religious cleansing of minority groups across the Middle East. ISIL's actions now constitute an act of genocide according to UN definitions. Failure to recognise these acts as genocide opposes the purpose of UN Convention.
The UK government must use its influence to urge the UN to seek agreement to designate ISIL's actions as 'genocide;' encourage the 127 signatories to the convention to face up to their duty, and send a clear message that perpetrators will be held accountable by the International Criminal Court.
Please do not be a silent bystander. The British public has the ability to make its voice heard on matters of importance, and you can add your voice to those already working inside Parliament to push for acknowledgement of what is happening to our brothers and sisters, along with other minorities in the Middle East.