Over 10,000 Refugees Expected To Arrive In Germany This Weekend

Photo: AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic
People wait in line to board a bus organized by the Austrian government in Hegyeshalom, Hungary, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015. The Austrian authorities have organized a bus service for migrants and refugees reaching the Hungarian border town of Hegyeshalom, with the buses transporting people to the Austrian border with Germany.
Tens of thousands of refugees are expected to arrive in Europe this weekend, fleeing their homes in the Middle East and North Africa en masse during the worst refugee crisis since World War II. And like WWII, the world is witnessing some European countries treat the escaping refugees carelessly. The New York Times reports that refugees heading to Hungary are being held in "reception" camps and officials in the Czech Republic took migrants off a train and used markers to give them numbers.

Refugees have received a poor reception in many European countries. France, Greece, Bulgaria, and Hungary have erected razor-wire fences to stop them, along with migrants, from entering illegally. The Times also reports that Hungary, which is experiencing the largest influx of migrants and refugees of any European country, has passed the first part of a revision to their refugee laws that would create "transit zones" along the country's Serbian border. Refugees would be confined to these zones, which are within 60 meters of the border, until their cases are resolved in three days. If refugees are determined to pass through a "safe" city on their way to Hungary, they would be sent back. The zones sound eerily similar to concentration camps. Hungary's parliament is also expected to pass laws next week that will allow police and the military to enter and search any home looking for refugees who are in hiding.

Not all European countries have taken such a hard line against refugees. Germany has opened its borders to refugees who had been stuck in Hungary earlier this week, but were finally allowed to pass through on Saturday night. The Guardian reports that Munich will receive 10,000 refugees this weekend alone.

The Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope.

Pope Francis
"Every day, I am asking myself how can we accommodate these people, these refugees, how we can give them a feeling that they are safe here in Munich, here in Germany. I am not really thinking about how many people can we afford and can we take here in Munich. That is not the question," Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said during a press conference. Munich has been providing medical care to the many refugees who arrive sick or malnourished, as well as housing and food.

German chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to hold crisis talks today, according to a report in Time. A reported 800,000 people could apply for asylum in Germany by the end of this year, authorities say. While most of the country has been welcoming them with open arms, far-right extremists are not pleased.

Pope Francis announced that the Vatican will shelter two families, still to be selected, who are fleeing from war and starvation, Time reports. On Sunday, he urged "parishes, convents, and monasteries across Europe to do the same" in remarks made in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

"Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope," Francis said.

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