Pope Francis is launching a two year campaign called “Share the Journey.”
Pope Francis made an announcement earlier this week about creating a “culture of encounter” as part of his efforts to encourage refugees and migrants.
The religious leader, in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, an international Catholic Charity Network, is launching a campaign called “Share the Journey.” The two year campaign is designed to create awareness about refugees and migrants among local communities in order to help them establish connections.
— Caritas (@iamCARITAS) September 27, 2017
At his weekly General Audience at St. Peter’s Square, the leader of the Vatican urged people to share hope and not to be afraid of doing so. Caritas created the campaign in response to the Pope’s request for creating a culture of encounter.
The campaign will highlight the challenges faced by migrants and the effects of migration at every stage in the journey in an attempt to drive a change in how migration is perceived. The initiative is currently being supported by the ACT Alliance, which encompasses a wide network of Christian agencies, civil society groups, and multiple religious groups.
The campaign will launch several action-oriented projects within the communities in which Caritas finds a presence.
The church is promoting the campaign as a response to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment that seems to be influencing the west. For instance, in Germany, which opened its doors to Syrian refugees, the Alternative for Germany party, which is known for its anti-immigration stance, managed, for the first time, to secure seats in the parliament.
In the US, the Trump Administration is working on bringing regulations that are predicted to drastically curb immigration. In fact, the administration came under fire for passing an executive order that restricted Muslim in certain countries from entering the US. The superpower has also reduced its intake of refugees.
Pope Francis has been at the forefront of the pro-immigration movement and has spoken out against the idea of expulsion. He has even courted controversy by stating that national security concerns weren’t as important as the needs of migrants.
However, the religious leader has supported the idea of better managing the flow of refugees and the practice of prudence in doing so. He encouraged the idea of factoring in the ability of certain migrants/refugees to integrate into Western society.
Caritas leader Cardinal Luis Antonio made a tearful pro-immigration speech at the General Audience, citing his own grandfather’s status as a Filipino migrant in China. He also put forward a rhetorical question concerning anti-immigration politicians and their fear of immigrants.