MUNICH, Germany, Sept. 6 (UPI) — Pope Francis urged the faithful in Europe on Sunday to shelter refugees who are making the often-dangerous trip from their home countries to set out “on the path to a better life.”
Francis said Europe’s believers should shelter refugees who are fleeing “death from war and hunger.” He urged for “every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe” to take in a family.
The pontiff said it’s insufficient to say “have courage, hang in there” to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are on the march toward what he called “life’s hope.” Speaking during the Angelus prayer at St. Peter’s Square, Francis said that the two parishes in the Vatican are hosting two families of refugees.
Europe is currently facing what has been dubbed the worst migrant crisis since the second World War.
About 8,000 migrants have been arriving to Munich, Germany, by trains since Saturday. Up to 10,000 migrants entered Austria within the last 48 hours. More than 2,000 people in Britain have volunteered to host migrant families.
Germany is expecting to take in about 800,000 asylum-seekers this year.
Many of the migrants are Syrian, where a civil war has led more than 4 million people to seek asylum elsewhere since 2011. Migrants from Afghanistan and Eritrea are also making the perilous journey toward Europe.