Call to love our neighbour – Dublin’s Interfaith Forum marks World Refugee Day
Entitled ‘Call to Love Our Neighbour’ the statement asserts that: “Based on the principle that all people are part of the one human family and deserve the unwavering protection of their human dignity, DCIF calls on everyone of goodwill to continue to welcome refugees and asylum seekers with love and compassion, regardless of place of birth, religion or ethnicity. The Golden Rule of all religions is ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ therefore, we pledge our solidarity with all those who come to Ireland seeking international protection at this critical time.”
In their statement DCIF urges the Government to put in place communication practices that combat disinformation and acknowledge and promote the positive aspects that refugees and migrants contribute to our communities.
Members also call on the Government to expedite the passing of the Criminal Justice Bill 2022 and combat racism and ensure a Human Right Based Approach on all policies dealing with refugees and migrants.
“May we continue to work together to make Ireland a safe,inclusive and diverse country of welcome,” the statement concludes.
The event included contributions of prayers and readings from DCIF’s diverse faith traditions. Opening the service, DCIF’s executive officer Adrian Cristea highlighted two stark numbers which were the focus of news reports last week – 110,000,000 and 80. He said that 110,000,000 represented the number of displaced people around the world. Sadly, he continued, the number 80 represented the number of people who died trying to cross the Mediterranean last week. “We are here today to offer our prayers, our thoughts, our reflections,” he stated.
Prayers, readings and reflections were given by Pastor Dare Adetuberu of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Sr Sheila Curran of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, Reverend Myozan Kodo Kilroy of Zen Buddhism Ireland, Alison Wortley of the Bahà’í community, Fr Dr Abraham Koshy Kunnumpurathu of the Indian Orthodox Church, Swami Purnananda of the Éire Vedanta Society, Pastor Florian van Issendorf of the Lutheran Church and Hilary Abrahamson of the Jewish Progressive Community.
Closing the event, Archbishop Jackson said that it was very important to be able to do something of faith in the open and thanked all who made it possible, particularly members of An Garda Siochana who were present. These included Chief Superintendent Pat McMcMenamin. The Archbishop added that many had no real comprehension of what the people who were prayed for had to go through and continued to go through. “But the plea that we are trying to make today is that we hold together the threads of humanity and that we weave a new tapestry of belonging for people who are people like us, people who have back stories and stories yet to come and that our society will meet them where they are,” he said.
He added: “This [the Famine Memorial] is an emotive place, a place from which people had no option but to leave their homeland. In an iconic way I think it is very important that something of this nature would happen here. And we speak, I trust, for hundreds of thousands of people right across our country who want those who are refugees, those who are seekers of asylum,those who are displaced to be one of us as we are one of them.”