News by email Donate


Us international charity
World News

Greek Orthodox Church welcomes Pope Francis ahead of Lesbos refugee visit

by Hannah Tooley

The Pope will visit the island of Lesbos this weekend, having focussed on the plight of migrants and refugees regularly since he assumed the papacy in 2013.

Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens has asked the pontiff to "send a powerful message to nations and their leaders to assume their responsibilities" in how they are dealing with the refugee crisis, and "drive the message home that greater co-operation is needed in dealing with the refugee crisis."

Pope Francis' trip to Greece on Saturday is the first trip a pope has made to the island since 2001, when conflicts between the Catholic and Orthodox churches meant the trip was almost cancelled.

Relations between the two churches have gotten better in recent years, thanks partly to the Vatican's support of letting asylum seekers into countries.

Certain countries have closed their borders to refugees and migrants, which has increased Greece's burden significantly.

AP Photo/Santi Palacios

The country has taken in around 50,000 asylum seekers, refugees and migrants over recent months, according to The Times.

Archbishop Ieronymos II also told the Athens paper Ethnos: "Greece is already in a difficult situation due to its financial crisis.

"One would have expected Europe to be more sensitised in its stance."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 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 USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 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.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

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

News by email