We as members of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, Moravian Church in South Africa, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Moravian Church in Tanzania Southern Province and Lutheran Communion in Southern Africa met at Stellenbosch- South Africa, 3rd to the 5th October 2018 in a workshop on migration and agreed on the following:

  1. We affirm that we never want any form of segregation or apartheid; never again a separation and unequal treatment of people because of their skin colour or origin, not on local, national or global level. We believe that all human beings have received equal dignity from God, that human rights are indivisible and apply to all human beings.

 

  1. Migration of peoples is part of human life. Africa and Europe have been shaped by migration for centuries. As Christians we see ourselves challenged to think about migration globally - because in Christ we are connected with each other worldwide. We are convinced that migration cannot be prevented, but that it can and should be shaped and managed.

 

  1. We are concerned that refugee routes are increasingly being closed. The responsibility for the protection of refugees must not be shifted to poor countries; we are all jointly responsible for their protection. We emphasise: There must be safe passages for refugees and the individual right to asylum must be preserved. Instead of separating asylum seekers by locking them up in camps, they should be integrated into local communities as quickly as possible.

 

  1. We observe the dangers of many countries facing an uncertain future with backward-looking thoughts of supposedly better times that never existed before. Our response to the uncertainty of the future is hope for the future that God opens for us.

 

  1. We consider hospitality and the willingness to recognize people as fellow human beings and to see oneself in others to be a basic attitude connected with the Christian faith. In a context of globalized indifference, we as churches see our role in advocating that people perceive each other as free human beings. This includes opposing all forms of racism, sexism, contempt for humanity, humiliation and persecution of people.

 

  1. We therefore commit ourselves to educating and creating awareness on issues of migration. In our actions, ministry, diaconical work, public witness, advocacy and lobbying we shall strive to exemplify hospitality as a human value also encapsulated in Christian teaching.

 

This we do, praying for the power of the Holy Spirit to inspire and encourage us as we await the coming Kingdom of God.