The Bishop of Paisley has announced his intention to call for a meeting of church leaders, politicians and charities across Renfrewshire to address the Syrian refugee crisis. The European Union will be holding an emergency meeting in Brussels later this month to discuss the issue.
In the rapidly developing crisis the First Minister organised a summit on Friday, and in Paisley, Bishop John Keenan met with George Adam MSP to discuss the situation.
Bishop John said:
‘One local woman contacted me, pleading with me to make a clear statement of compassion on behalf of the Church so that the world would not think we did not care. Many more contacted me asking for advice as to how they could help. So many of our local people want to help if only they are given ways personally to get involved. All of this has moved me to act and try to help bring together some solutions here at home to this unprecedented global crisis.’
Speaking on the issue George said:
‘My meeting with Bishop Keenan confirmed that we must take action now, locally and nationally. We cannot afford to stand by in this deeply upsetting humanitarian situation and do nothing.
‘Half the population of Syria has been displaced through unrest and civil war.
‘Practically we have to look at how we can help in Paisley and Renfrewshire. What resources can we provide for these people, displaced from their country, taking treacherous journeys to escape danger.
‘I will be calling on all my political colleagues to get involved in this meeting to look at how we can help and to provide a long term strategy to for our fellow human beings.
‘We must do everything we can to help the refugees or it will forever be on our conscience’.