Bishops from three Anglican Provinces have called for “solidarity” from the Anglican Communion as a caravan of migrants travels from El Salvador to the United States.
The plight of the people making the journey was reported around the world after US President Donald Trump said that he had mobilised the military to prevent them crossing the American border. Bishops from Panama; Honduras, in the US-based Episcopal Church; Guatemala and El Salvador in the Anglican Church of Central America; and North and South East Mexico, in the Anglican Church of Mexico, have responded to the situation in a joint letter.
The Bishops described the caravan as “a new exodus” of “a marginalised people, enslaved in their respective countries through a reality of social and moral, neo-liberal economic sin which takes away their lives with injustices and violations of their human rights. They are a people of faith in God, who He has promised to ‘care for and accompany’”.
President Trump, who has been vocal in his opposition to the caravan, said in a Tweet: “The Caravans are made up of some very bad thugs and gang members.”
But in their letter, the Bishops appealed for more compassion to be shown towards those on the journey, who they said included “girls and boys, young people, women and men, victims of death threats, victims of unemployment, victims of irresponsible governments which are indifferent to the needs of their inhabitants.”
They urged authorities in the countries on the route and final destination of the caravan to offer a just humanitarian reception; reasonable opportunities to identify options to legalise their transit and accommodation. They called for the creation of programmes to cater for the needs of migrants and those who request refuge and asylum – with support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration.
They also made a special appeal for the protection of children, adolescents and family unity.
In their call to the Anglican Communion they urged “the unity of Christians to create a culture of hospitality” and they requested “the governments of the Northern Triangle to work to generate conditions for the development of human life in our countries, but above all we demand that migration is not criminalised because migration is a human right and nobody is illegal within the creation of God.”
The letter was signed by Archbishop Julio Murray, Primate of Central America and Bishop of Panama, Archbishop Francisco Moreno, Primate of Mexico and Bishop of Northern Mexico, Bishop Lloyd Allen from Honduras; Bishop Juan David Alvarado from El Salvador; Bishop Silvestre Romero from Guatemala; Bishop Benito Juarez from South East Mexico.
Adapted from the Anglican Communion News Service
Note: The caravan has arrived in Mexico which has provided safe shelter to the travellers.