Refugees in Europe – a fence or a bridge?

Source: www.freeimages.com
Source: www.freeimages.com

How does the church respond to large numbers of refugees coming into Europe from all over the world?  Responses to refugees vary even among Christians from an enthusiastic welcome to a sharp rejection.  How do we balance a Biblical mandate to have mercy on the foreigner with the practicalities of catering for the emergency needs of such an influx?  How can we accommodate new citizens while avoiding the feeling of being overwhelmed by a new Völkerwanderung?

This year’s EEMA conference will address not merely the current refugee crisis in Europe, but look at the ongoing impact for the church in Europe.  How will this change the nature of church and its place in society?  How will mission be affected?  Plenary topics include:

  • An overview of the refugee crisis and its causes
  • The situation of refugees in the Middle East
  • The situation of refugees arriving in Europe – southern and eastern European perspectives
  • The situation of refugees settling into the west
  • Stories of churches and welcome and a refugee’s experience
  • The Refugee Highway and the power of prayer

Speakers include people from Britain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Lebanon, Somalia and Sri Lanka who are all involved in some way in welcoming refugees.  They include:

Adrian Brixey,  Coordinator or Muslim and Migrant Ministry for ECMI (UK)

Nabil Costa, Executive Director for the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (Lebanon)

Yassir Eric, Director of the European Institute for Migration, Intergration and Islam (Sudan/Germany)

Anthony Joseph, Founder of TCF International Ministries (Sri Lanka/Switzerland)

Lucas da Silva, Refugee Ministry Coordinator for TWR International (Brazil)

Nikos Stefanidis, Director of Helping Hands (Greece)

Kari Tassia, Regional Co-Facilitator for Refugee Highway Partnership Europe (Finland)

You can find more details about our headline speakers by clicking here.  We will hear voices from countries which have closed their doors and built fences, and other voices whose countries have flung wide their gates.  Held in cooperation with our networks the Central and Eastern European Mission Forum and the Refugee Highway Partnership, and supported by the European Evangelical Alliance, this will be a unique experience bringing together a broad constituency with different perspectives on refugee ministry.  We also have a flyer which you can circulate to your colleagues and you can see a preliminary outline of the programme by clicking here.

Where?   Our conference will take place at the RIN Airport Hotel in Bucharest, Romania, ideally located for the international airport.  As well as good conference facilities, the hotel has a gym, sauna and indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

When?  21st-24th June 2016.  Registration begins at 1430 on Tuesday 21st, with the first session starting at 16.00.  The consultation ends with lunch on Friday 24th.

How much?  Prices are as follows:

  • Single room  – €295
  • Twin or double room – €245 per person
  • Day guests (all four days) – €140

A limited number of scholarships will be available to citizens of certain central and eastern European countries*.  To apply for a scholarship email tim@europeanema.eu.

The ticket price includes conference fees, resources, meals and drinks during breaks. Personal orders of extra food and drinks are not included.  Payment in full is due on application and a non-returnable deposit of €50 is included in this amount.

Who is it for?

  • People in churches and agencies working with refugees
  • Mission executives and those in leadership positions
  • Church, denomination and network leaders

How do I book?  To book your place, please click here and complete the form.  All bookings will be made online and all payments will be by bank transfer.  Instructions on how to pay will be emailed to people who book, and bookings are not confirmed until payment has been received.  Any questions about registration should be addressed to tim@europeanema.eu.

click here to book!

*AL, BA, BG, BY, CY, CZ, EE, GR, Hr, HU, KS, LT, LV, MD, MK, MT, PL, RO, RS, RU, SI, SK, UA