News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Migrants thumb.PNG
World News

German Protestant Church to send migrant rescue ship to Mediterranean

Germany's Protestant Church is to send a ship to the Mediterranean in a bid to rescue migrants who are attempting to make the perilous crossing into Europe. The boat, Sea-Watch 4, will embark on its mission sometime over the next few days, departing from the seaport of Burriana, near Valencia, in Spain.

"It's more than symbolism, it is about taking exemplary action," Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, head of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), told German outlet DW. "People will be rescued in the Mediterranean." 

The rescue mission will be managed by a group called United4Rescue and is being led by the church and supported by over 500 other organisations - it has only been made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign called "#WeSendAShip".

"We connect all social organisations and groups that do not want to stand by and watch thousands of people die in the Mediterranean,” United4Rescue declares on its website. “With the collection of donations, we support rescue organisations that act humanitarianly [sic], where politics fail. We are non-profit and finance ourselves, exclusively through donations. We expect clear responses from the European governments to our demands."

Bedford Strohjm says more must be done to try and safely resettle refugees in Germany and across Europe: "We need a distribution mechanism in Europe that avoids having to hold a debate for every single ship and discuss whether people can come to land and where they can go." 

He also called on European governments to launch more state-led rescue missions and said that those involved in voluntary efforts should never be prosecuted. "Those who save people from drowning should not be criminalized," he said. 

Today, Home Secretary Priti Patel suggested calling on the Royal Navy to help intercept those crossing the channel into the UK, amid a spike in numbers of those reaching British shores - on Thursday, a record-breaking 235 migrants arrived on 17 vessels. 

However, a Ministry Defence source called the plan "beyond absurd". 

"We don't resort to deploying armed force to deal with political failings", the source told PA. "It's beyond absurd to think that we should be deploying multi-million pound ships and elite soldiers to deal with desperate people barely staying afloat on rubber dinghies in the Channel."



Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.