News by email Donate


Source: Google Streetview
Brussels church thumb.JPG
Source: Google Streetview
World News

Undocumented migrants occupy Belgian church in protest, seek help from government

by Will Maule

A large group of undocumented migrants have occupied a church in Belgium in a bid to alert the government's attention to the plight of migrants whose situation has become worse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Several hundred migrants have taken up refuge inside the Saint John the Baptist at the Béguinage after a priest granted them access on the condition that coronavirus restrictions are respected. 

"The situation of undocumented migrants has become harder. Even without Covid, we live in misery, but now it has become unbearable to live," immigrant Mohamed told AFP. "So I am asking for legalisation. Because if we really want to fight Covid, we must all have the same rights; the right to housing, the right to access to health, access to all these services." 

Saint John the Baptist at the Béguinage been occupied by migrants in the past. In 2014, hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers are protesting in Belgium against being sent home. 

Nael Daibes, a supporter of the collective of undocumented migrants in Brussels, said that the migrant community has been suffering even more severely since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"An undocumented immigrant cannot go to a testing centre and get tested," he said. "And so this causes health problems among undocumented migrants, but also in the general population." 

The migrants are asking the government to grant them status and rights.

 "We suffer a lot. We really want to have papers because we just have the medical card, that's all," said Hagira, another of the migrants.

"And for us, it's not much. We are also human beings, we want to have our papers, we want to live our lives and not be afraid of the police. We still have this fear, in fact, we are not comfortable." 



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

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

News by email