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From migrants to millionaires: campaigner urges Christians to pray for all as sub search continues

by Sophie Drew

As the search for five missing Titanic explorers continues, the horrifying story of their entrapment has largely dominated the news agenda, but some are drawing comparisons with the smaller amount of airtime given to migrants killed off Greece days ago. A Christian campaigner has urged critics to pray for everyone, regardless of their financial background.

Five tourists, including three British nationals, are considered missing after their submersible lost contact on a trip to visit the underwater Titanic wreckage.

The group were sealed in a vessel with only four days of emergency oxygen, and experts fear they could already have dropped lower than the Titanic itself.

Crews aboard a piping ship, with underwater capabilities, have arrived at the site where contact was lost.

The group includes British billionaire Hamish Harding, as well as a father and son who live in the UK, Shahzada and Suleman Dawood.

However, the media attention focussed on the ongoing search has caused a stir online. Many have drawn comparisons between the search for the explorers and the attention given to a migrant boat that capsized off the coast of Greece last week.

The boat contained at least 500 people, 100 of which are believed to have been children, who were trapped in the hull of the vessel as it sank.

Experts suggest there could have been up to 750 people on board.  They are believed to have been mainly from Syria, Egypt, and Pakistan.

Only 104 people were rescued, with no further survivors found since the day of the incident.

Dr Krish Kandiah, founder of refugee charity The Sanctuary Foundation, recognises a potential insensitivity to the migrants killed.

He said: “Sadly, a refugee boat sinking in the Mediterranean has become normalised.

“It's so usual now for our culture that it no longer shocks people in the way that that it ought.

“I wonder whether it's part of the dehumanisation of the whole conversation about immigration and asylum, that we are relating more to billionaires than we are to people that are fleeing war and terror.

However, the campaigner urged Christians to remember the essential teaching of the gospel – that God loves everyone.

He continued: “That's what was amazing about Jesus, he had time for those who nobody else had time for.

“People that were put in the bucket called ‘sinners', whether they were tax collectors or prostitutes or people that society wrote off because of poverty or disability, Jesus had time for them. That was his radical hospitality and he welcomed everybody.  That got him into a lot of trouble, but he also spent time with religious leaders, people of influence.

“So that's what's incredible about the gospel - that God really does love the world, every single person on the planet, whatever their immigration status, whatever money they have or haven't got in their bank account, whatever race they're from, whatever abilities or disabilities they have.

“Every single person is loved by God and we, as the Church, we need to model that same kindness and generosity.

“Sometimes that means we'll be drawn to people that everyone else has forgotten about, and I think that's a really interesting instinct that Christ instils in his followers, that we are drawn to those who are often in the margins and are forgotten, but God does love the whole world.”

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