Do you think that Saudi Arabia would ever consider opening up its mosques as flophouses for the tens of thousands of Filipino immigrants who live and work in the Middle Eastern country? Not on your life. Isn’t great how different we Christians are?
In Belgium, the Brussels Journal reports that the country’s bishops are opening up Catholic churches as flop houses for Muslim illegal immigrants. We’re not talking about using empty rectories or schools or parish halls, but the churches themselves.
The illegal immigrants have been told that they are safe in the churches because the authorities will refrain from entering the buildings out of respect for the Catholic Church. It is strange that the Church should insinuate that there is some type of persecution considering that the Belgian authorities never organise searches for illegal immigrants, and hardly ever expel even criminals. The number of people camping in churches so far varies from 100 to 700. More than 160 immigrants in the churches have also gone on hunger strike. The church authorities say they are offering “church asylum” to the “sans-papiers.”
Earlier this week a 31 year old illegal immigrant from Morocco, squatting in a church in Glain in the diocese of Liège, sewed his lips closed to protest the fact that (a) he has no money to travel to Morocco to attend his father’s funeral and (b) that if he does go to Morocco he will not be allowed to enter Belgium again.
It puts the illegal immigration problem in the US in a much different perspective. At least the illegals in the US aren’t demanding they be given money to fly home and then be allowed to re-enter illegally again.
I fully support the idea of the Church providing basic human assistance to aliens and the alienated, even to help them to become legal. What I oppose is the encouraging of others to break the law and the use of sacred spaces, i.e. Catholic churches, for profane uses. I have seen other reports that say that the churches are being used for the five-times-daily Muslim prayers. Is allowing a church to be used for worship by the followers of a false religion a sin? I’m thinking it’s a clear violation of the First Commandment.
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