Christians for Calais strongly denounces the sudden destruction of a mosque and church in the Calais ‘Jungle’ refugee camp.
Prefecture representatives were recorded and witnessed, including by NGO and charity leaders, as stating that they would not bulldoze churches or mosques. This was double checked, as the protestant church and a mosque were within the 100 meter eviction zone announced and then enforced by the authorities. It was reconfirmed verbally that churches and mosques would not be removed, and this was initially upheld as those structures were indeed left untouched when the buffer zone was created on Monday 18 January.
However, on Monday morning 1 February, without warning, bulldozers arrived and destroyed these houses of worship. No communication regarding this was received by any party, including the NGOs and charities in charge of the camp or those who owned the structures and materials.
The protestant church served a great many Christians in camp, held weekly services at set times and operated as a quiet place of prayer for refugees and volunteers alike.
Christians for Calais calls upon all Christians in particular to rebuke this action and join together in supporting the refugees stranded in Calais and Dunkirk. We urge the faith communities of Britain to denounce the destruction of holy places, in particular when it affects a group of people already so vulnerable. We are asking for support in our efforts to assist the desperate state of affairs just 20 miles from the UK, where dispossessed people fleeing from appalling situations are subject to brutality and denied basic human rights including food and medical care.
Christians for Calais notes in addition the human right of freedom of religion and the unacceptable nature of taking away the right to practice faith from people who have little else to cling to.
Note: Christians for Calais is a group that coordinates through Facebook. It brings together faith responses to the refugee crisis in northern France. It was founded by Caroline Gregory, who can be contacted directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.