At its last session the AEM board extensively discussed the current refugee situation in Europe and makes the following statement:

  1. The Bible is full of stories on forced migration: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Daniel, Jesus, the Apostles and the early Church. God is at work in spite of all the failures of man: He acts sovereignly and works through global migration, bringing forward his history of salvation and wants to be a good shepherd to each individual.
  2. From its beginning, the church of Jesus was a fellowship of individuals from every people, strata of society and mother tongues, it included men and women. They formed a big family. This is the hallmark of the Church of Christ. It is still true today, and needs to be taught and lived out.
  3. In Germany we have rich experience in welcoming refugees and integrate migrants into our society: After the expulsion of Jews, Christians and opponents in the Third Reich, we integrated 13 Mio expelled from Eastern Germany; in the 1960ies we invited millions of foreign workers, from the 1970ies Russian Germans arrived, after 1989/90 hundreds of thousands of repatriates from Eastern Europe. Now we have again the opportunity to provide a future and new home to people in great need. Therefore we urge all churches to welcome their new neighbours in their vicinity. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25ff) Jesus explains who our neighbour is whom we should help.
  4. We ask all mission agencies to assign missionaries returning to Germany for whatever reason to minister to refugees in our country. They are invaluable bridge builders between the cultures and able to help churches to develop and utilize their resources.
  5. Most of the refugees have escaped from war and terror; often they are traumatized from their flight. Here Jesus’ words apply: “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me… whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:35ff). Many refugees from Eritrea, Syria, Iraq, Iran and West Africa are They need our solidarity and help. We plead with you to generously offer them homes, church buildings and campsites/ recreational homes, particularly as many are persecuted because of their faith in collective refugee homes in Germany, too.
  6. Many refugees are Muslims and have escaped Islamist terror. They (as well as the 5 Mio Muslims who already have been living in our country for a longer time) are deeply shocked by the inhuman cruelties committed in the name of their religion. They never had the opportunity to think freely and critically question their convictions. But now many questions are raised: Why do the (in their view) “unbelieving” Europeans open their doors and welcome them friendly, yet their cousins on the Arabian Peninsula coldly reject them? Questions like these are posed by many.
  7. Most Muslim refugees have never met a Christian in their life; they never had a follower of Jesus as a friend and experienced the Gospel lived out in daily life. This is our opportunity to meet them in the love of Jesus.
  8. Research shows that many Syrian refugees are highly educated; they want to work hard and have relatively few children. Even before the civil war the birth rate was annually 2.3% which is relatively low (UN, World Bank). Western fears about a “biological takeover” contradict the facts.
  9. Obviously, refugees are no more “Saints” than people in the West. Among them are selfless and egoistic people as there are among us. Each person needs salvation and the new life in Jesus. In most countries of origin severe restrictions on Christian churches and the proclamation of the Gospel are imposed. In our country we are at liberty to witness the love of Jesus.
  10. We are committed to the Universal Human Rights, Religious Freedom in all countries and protection of minorities from manipulation and force by others. We work towards peace, humane living conditions and sustainable development. Globally Christians are in particular socially discriminated and persecuted. We call for their protection by government authorities – also in our country.
    These are the only ways to reduce the causes for flight and expulsion.
  11. We recognise the fears of Germans and acknowledge the immense financial and social costs needed for the care and integration of so many refugees. Yet we are one of the richest and economically strongest countries of the world and we can accept this challenge.
  12. Many Muslims want to serve the Almighty God, the creator of heaven and earth, yet the Almighty appears to them foreign, infinitely far removed. They seek to fulfil their religious duties with great diligence in the desperate hope that they will be accepted on the final judgement day. For they do not know the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3), that God himself has reconciled the fallen creation with him through Jesus Christ. We are honoured to share this awesome message with people in our neighbourhood. We have the unique opportunity to make Jesus known locally to countless people who have never heard the Good News.

AEM-Board 29 September 2015