Migration testing humanistic principles, says Ecumenical Patriarch

Migration and the refugee crisis are testing the humanistic principles of European culture and identity, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said on Wednesday, addressing the Concordia Europe Summit in Athens.

“Europe is not just a geographic region but the vision of a peaceful, democratic, fair and inclusive society of European peoples. Obviously, the serious refugee and migratory crisis cannot be dealt with on the basis of the principles of a bureaucratic, technocratic and economically-centric Europe,” he said, noting the solution must be based on human rights, which constitute Europe’s Magna Carta and have human dignity in their core.

“Christian churches are an ally of human rights as, despite initial objections and controversies, are now emerging as human rights activists to protect human dignity, even if they are based on a different basis. Clearly, attempts to marginalize religion by representatives of extreme secularism do not promote the objectives of human rights,” he added.