Hungarians should overcome prejudice and help refugees to settle in the country, the Catholic bishop of Vac said trying to ease a hostile attitude towards migrants.
Miklos Beer, whose comments are a rare show of support for migrants among high clergy in Hungary, has backed up his stand by housing two asylum-seekers from Afghanistan and one from Cuba in his church quarters situated in the quaint town north of Budapest.
Now the 73-year old bishop is afraid that under a new law passed last week, they will be taken to container camps on Hungary’s border with Serbia, where all migrants will be detained until their asylum requests are processed. Migrants whose applications are not immediately approved will not be allowed to move freely around Hungary.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been a vocal opponent of the wave of migration into Europe, which he says threatens the socioeconomic makeup of the continent, and his government is now building a second barrier to keep migrants out.
“I still hope and I am convinced that even if we have a double fence (on the border), the door is still open,” Beer, who will soon celebrate his 14th Easter in Vac, told Reuters in an interview.
…The office of the Catholic Church did not reply to emailed Reuters questions asking for an official statement on migrants.
Beer said he would continue to provide shelter and food for the three asylum seekers who he has put up for a month, but admitted he would not be able to prevent their transfer to a detention camp, if police came.
“I won’t have any means to stop that,” he said.