The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams spoke in advance of Refugee Week. The BBC reported his comments:
“Desperate people who have been driven out of their homes by war are being forced to make dangerous journeys in search of sanctuary. Yet many countries are closing their borders and putting up barbed wire.”
The chair of Christian Aid noted that the UK had a history of offering refuge and welcome to people in need – Jewish children from Nazi Germany, as well as refugees from Vietnam in the 1970s and Kosovo in the 1990s.
“The UK must not turn a blind eye to this crisis. We can and must do more to respond.”
He spoke out about media attitudes to migration.
“The rhetoric in the media is one that suggests that the UK is ‘full’, and that those arriving on our shores are a drain on our economy.
“Not only are these assertions unfounded, but they fail to recognise the positive, life-affirming contributions that generations of refugees have made to British society – and that we ourselves are changed by welcoming the stranger.”