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.


CCME Executive Committee expresses its concern at erosion of protection of refugees in Europe

At its meeting in Athens, Greece from 24 to 26 October 2016 the Executive Committee of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) learned about the current situation with regard to refugees in Greece and heard reports from other European countries. Many governments and authorities in European countries have recognised the protection need of refugees, especially from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but increasingly grant subsidiary status rather than full refugee protection status. A year ago, more than 90% of Syrian and Iraqi refugees received refugee protection status, while in 2016 more than half are only granted ....read more


ACT Alliance, WCC, CCME and CWWM Statement on the UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants

The ACT Alliance , World Council of Churches (WCC) , Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) , and Churches Witnessing With Migrants (CWWM)  welcome the initiative of the United Nations Secretary General to convene on the 19th of September a summit for addressing large movements of refugees and migrants. There is hope among global civil society that it will provide an opportunity to kick-start a process towards real and substantive improvements in government responses to the situation of refugees, migrants, and the world’s displaced. The Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis...read more


Gebed in gevangenschap

A prayer in detention


afgesloten van buiten

binnen verstikkend

hoe lang moet ik nog

gevangen blijven

hoe lang nog wachten

op recht, op bevrijding?

Locked in

fenced off from the outside

inside suffocating

how much longer do I have

to stay in detention

how much longer to wait

for right, for liberation?


CCME joins the Alliance against Antigypsyism

The Alliance against Antigypsyism is a coalition of organisations that promote equality of rights for Roma, to advance a better understanding of antigypsyism. The Alliance counts more seventy members from across Europe. The Alliance counts more seventy members from across Europe and its reference paper was launched on 5th July 2016 to stir the debate about the nature and implications of antigypsyism.  For more information please visit: www.antigypsyism.eu


NGOs strongly condemn new EU policies to contain migration

At the upcoming European Council, European Union (EU) leaders will discuss the European Commission’s Communication on a new Partnership Framework with third countries. The Communication proposes an approach which aims to leverage existing EU and Member States' external cooperation instruments and tools in order to stem migration to Europe. The undersigned organisations express their grave concern about the direction the EU is taking by making ....read more


‘Have no Fear’: A Statement

The World Council of Churches (WCC), the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), recognising a need among member-churches and ecumenical organisations to reflect on responses to the global refugee crisis, organised a conference in Lunteren between 14th and 16th June 2016. The conference brought together more than sixty representatives of.....read more; Dutch; German;  Hungarian

                       Conference "Have no fear", Lunteren 14-16 June 2016 -                             Images E. Kabalisa/CCME


Statement of CEC Governing Board: A Europe that protects and welcomes

Europe is entering yet another summer during which significant groups of refugees and migrants will be arriving at the borders and shores of European states. This is a particular challenge for southern European countries and those having already received large numbers of refugees. Conflicts in the Middle East and several African countries lead to...read full statement


Commemorate Persons who lost their lives on their way to seek safety

Almost daily these days we hear reports about tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea. 2.809 persons are recorded to have lost their lives to date in 2016 alone, during the month of May alone 1.160. This underlines the despair migrants and refugees are facing: they have little or no other choice than using smugglers, the routes become more risky and more expensive. Currently the Central Mediterranean route is seeing...read more. You can also access the intercession resource guide!


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


To top

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


"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


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....


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



World Refugee Day: “Have No Fear” – Churches call for intensified efforts






CCME Picture, 1964