KSPM-ERP’s Director, arch. Panteleimon Papasynefakis was invited to participate in the works of the annual Conference of Academy of Religion held in Bologna, Italy from 4th – 7th of March. In his speech in the framework of the session “Dialogue as an approach to social inclusion of Migrant and Refugees – Notes from the field”,  Arch. Panteleimon Papasynefakis presented the organisation‘s work and referred to the current refugee situation in Greece and the emerging urgency for a solid integration policy. He further noted that KSPM-ERP, due to its ties with the Church of Greece as well as its long cooperation with refugee and migrant communities, has a broad scope of intervention on many levels so as to promote intercultural and interreligious dialogue as well as enhance peaceful coexistence between local and migrant populations.

He went on to express his concerns regarding the implemented European policies, stressing that what Europe is currently experiencing is actually a moral and value crisis that leads to the questioning of the institutional framework of human rights’ protection and the community solidarity between European countries.

“The “hot spot” European policy does, in no way, comply with what Europe preaches regarding the respect of human rights and refugee law implementation. For us, as an ecclesiastical organization, supporting human rights is an obligation. The challenge for our Center is not only indicating this moral and value crisis in Europe, but above all to develop targeted actions promote true solidarity and dialogue between indigenous people and refugee populations.

For the Church of Greece, the “human person”, every human person, must be respected. And this human person, seeking a better life, is captured vividly by the lens of the great photographer Yannis Behrakis who deceased recently: A blind Palestinian woman, having just arrived at the island of Kos after a dangerous and tumultuous journey, smiles sitting at the beach, enjoying the breeze and the smell of the sea. This person not having lost its faith to hope and the beauty of the world, is the person we have to support.”