Safe Passage

In response to the increasing number of refugees, churches across Europe coordinated by CCME started Safe Passage. Click here for the information leaflet, or read the German leaflet.

In November 2014 Christian organisations published Recommendations for the development of safe and legal paths to protection in the European Union. Read more.


Prayer May 2016

Gebed Mei 2016

Prayer May 2016

Liefde die groter is dan ons hart,

- als u er bent-

wij roepen u om hulp 

omdat we niet weten 

waar we het anders zoeken moeten.

Zie onze woede over 

zoveel onrechtvaardigheid 

in deze wereld, dit land, deze plaats

zie ons verdriet over zoveel lijden

zie onze schaamte over 


Love, who are so much more than our heart –

 if You exist – 

we call to You for help

because we do not know where else to look.

See our anger: 

there is so much injustice

in this world, in this country, in this place.

See our sorrow over so much suffering.

See our shame  over all the pain 

that people give each other.



VEF declaration regarding current refugee policy

Most recently Greece deported people to Turkey within the scope of the EU Agreement with Turkey. According to reports of Greek officials, no persons were involved thereunder, who claimed any protection requirement. However local human rights organizations doubt this claim and assume that asylum seekers were also definitely among the deportees. Persons, who seek asylum in Greece, are subjected to a brief process. Thereby it is determined, whether they have already received asylum in Turkey or another form of protection – for example temporary shelter – or rather whether they came to Greece through a safe third country outside of the EU. If these questions are....read more; German Version


Christian Comments on the EU Commission’s Proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard COM(2015) 671 Final

On 15 December 2015, the European Commission issued a proposal for a Regulation that would create a “European Border and Coast Guard” with a “European Border and Coast Guard Agency” built on Frontex and the Member States’ border and coast guard units. The proposal entails a new and broader mandate for the Frontex agency, i.e. more competencies and additional staff and equipment. In particular, the size of Frontex permanent staff as well as of the pool of national experts would increase substantially. In addition, the European Commission would have the competence to ....read more


Interview with Ms Doris Peschke, General Secretary of CCME 

By Marcel Kuss, Ev. Kirche im Rheinland/Protestant Church in the Rhineland


Refugee Crisis: Christian Organisations Appeal to European Leaders

In view of the European Council 17-18 March 2016, 5 christian organisations representing Christian Churches and relief and development organisations have addressed a joint letter calling European leaders to develop more humane responses for refugee protection in full compliance with European obligations under international law and human rights so that the dignity of every person is respected and ensured…read more


Organization founded by Greek Orthodox priest awarded for helping refugees

The 2016 Council of Europe Raoul Wallenberg Prize was awarded to Agkalia (Embrace), which welcomes refugees on the shores of Lesbos. The organisation was founded in 2009 by Father Efstratios, known as Papa Stratis, who died in September 2015. Read more...


A Call to Shared Responsibility and Coordinated Action

On 18-19 January 2016 representatives of governments, UN agencies and civil society organizations, including churches and faith-based organizations, met at a high-level conference on the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva, Switzerland, and co-sponsored by UNICEF, UNFPA and UNHCR. The conference aimed to promote principled, human rights-based and coordinated responses to....read more


Mapping Migration in Europe, Mapping Churches’ Responses

Migration contributes to a more diverse Christian presence in Europe as well as to a more diverse religious landscape in many countries. Through migration, minority churches in some countries are growing. The current study Mapping Migration in Europe, Mapping Churches’ Responses: Belonging, Community and Integration: the witness and service of Churches in Europe attempts to provide information on actual immigration and emigration figures for forty‐four European countries, and seeks to identify the diversity of Christian presence. Read the full publication…

Now available on: Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon UK


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A Europe of peace and hospitality

The Governing Board of the Conference of European Churches met from 25 to 27 November in Holy Etchmiadzin (Armenia) for its second regular meeting of 2015. The meeting was hosted by the Armenian Apostolic Church. The board was deeply moved by the fate of the Armenian people, who this year commemorate the centennial of the Armenian genocide. It was in this context that the Governing Board of the Conference noted with deep concern the growing refugee crisis and the...read more


Forced Migration: Pain and Tragedy, Challenges and Responsibilities

The picture of three-year old Syrian child, Aylan Kurdi, face down and lifeless on the shore after trying to cross to Greece, has been making the rounds of alternative and mainstream media. It moved people, as it must. It called for change, as it should…Read more.


European refugee crisis - Images by Paul Jeffrey

Joint Appeal Church World Service and Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe

In a Statement issued on 26 October 2015, Church World Service and the Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe appeal to the United States and Europe to substantially contribute to resettling the 10 per cent of Syrian refugees considered by UNHCR to be particularly vulnerable and in need of resettlement. Read the full statement...


Safe Passages to and through Europe – Strengthen protection and support for refugees in Europe

The CCME Executive Committee took note of the current situation regarding refugee protection in Europe at its meeting in Timisoara /Romania 16-18 October 2015. During a conference organised by CCME member AIDROM in cooperation with the Romanian Orthodox Metropoly of Banat, the ExCom discussed how “European Churches (are) responding to....read more; Arabic; Greek


Facts, backgrounds and information on the GFMD

The consultation of Churches Witnessing with Migrants is meeting in Istanbul followed by the Civil Society Days of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. CCME has prepared factsheets as backgrounds information on the GFMD.


Humanitarian visa within the EU Visa Code

Organizations representing Churches throughout Europe - Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic - as well as Christian agencies address a letter to the Members of the European Parliament/LIBE Committee explaining what humanitarian visas are and exploring the experience of states in issuing humanitarian visas and supporting humanitarian visa within the EU Visa Code


In short videos, Doris Peschke the General Secretary of CCME explains the current refugee crisis and what can be done. The videos were co-produced by WCC, CEC and CCME


Appeal to Informal European Council 23 September 2015

Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant Churches and Christian service, relief and development organizations call on the Informal European Council of 23 September 2015 to commit to a unified, ambitious and rights based refugee and migration policy. Read more...


"I was a stranger and you welcomed me"

The Protestant churches in Sweden and Germany have called on Europe's responsibility for people in need. In their joint statement, Prof. Dr Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of the Church of Sweden and Prof. Dr Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, Chair of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD), expressed their concern about political “desolidarization” in the European Union in the current humanitarian….Read more , German Version


Call to the Justice and Home Affairs Council 14-15/09/2015

On behalf of our members, Anglican, Orthodox and Protestant Churches and Christian service, relief and development organizations, and based on our extensive experience of working with people in situations of extreme precariousness and vulnerability we call on you in your discussion at the Informal Justice and Home Affairs Council to commit to a unified, ambitious and rights based refugee and migration policy. Read more...


Refugee crisis: Ecumenical organisations respond 

In the wake of the current refugee crisis, European churches are being encouraged to deepen their efforts in receiving, supporting and protecting refugees who arrive in the region. This call was made in a letter issued jointly by the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME). Please read the full text of the WCC-CEC-CCME joint letter on European refugee situation; Please read the French Version

Background and arguments


Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers

The CEC Governing Board has released a public statement on external borders of the EU especially the Mediterranean during its meetings in Strasbourg. The Conference of European Churches (CEC) expresses its deep concern about the repeated loss of life in the Mediterranean. CEC deplores that for over two decades tens of thousands of migrants have drowned in their attempts to reach safety or find a more dignified life in Europe. Please read more....


Deaths at European Borders – there are alternatives

Deaths at European external borders can and must be ended, alternatives are available and need to be implemented. This message was highlighted by speakers and participants throughout the conference “Deaths at European Borders – there are alternatives” held in Rome 23-24 February 2015. Politicians and representatives of churches and non-governmental organisations talked about the need for a “toolbox”, because – as Stefan Keßler of the Jesuit Refugee Service Europe highlighted – “not one instrument fits all situations.” Click here for the full report.

“I am proud to be part of a government which initiated the Mare Nostrum Operation to rescue migrants in distress at sea”, Italian Vice Minister for...read more; German Version


Recommendations for the Development of Safe and Legal Paths to Protection in the EU

After the tragedies of Lampedusa and Malta in October 2013, the discussion on providing more safe and legal paths for persons in need of protection to enter the European Union has gained a new dynamic. Decision-makers from the entire political spectrum quickly joined Pope Francis and other representatives of religious communities in their call for solidarity with migrants and protection
seekers. Since then, however, the Commission-led ‘Task Force Mediterranean’ has not come up with....read more; Portuguese


EU Member States must increase pledges to resettle and admit more refugees fleeing Syria

A coalition of NGOs have addressed an open letter to European institutions calling them to increase pledges to resettle and admit more refugees fleeing Syria.
In less than a month from now, the European Union and its Member States have been invited to gather with their international counterparts for a ministerial-level pledging conference on resettlement and other forms of admission for Syrian refugees. The war in Syria has caused over 3 million people to flee from conflict and persecution. All EU Member States must seize this opportunity to...read more


Enhancing volume and impact of refugee resettlement to the EUEnhancing volume and impact of refugee resettlement to the EU

20.000 EU places and policy coherence for resettlement – by 2020!

Refugee resettlement offers long-term protection to the world’s most vulnerable refugees. It is understood as a process by which refugees who fled their country of origin and have found initial, but neither sufficient nor permanent protection in a second country, are resettled to a third country in which they find permanent protection. It is often the only hope for refugees who would be in danger of being sent back to torture and abuse or risk spending the rest of their lives in unbearable ...read more



  • Conference announcement: “Have no fear” (Isaiah 41,10): The impact of the global refugee crisis in Europe and European churches’ responses.  Lunteren (Netherlands), 14-16 June 2016
  • Call to the Informal European Council of 23 September 2015
  • Appeal to ministers of Justice and Home Affairs Council




CCME Picture, 1964