Pastor in Bavaria: Christians may let migrants drown

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A priest in Bavaria speaks out against sea rescue and reaps fierce opposition. His argument: The refugees wished for a better life – but this does not oblige Christians “ethically to appropriate help”.

A contribution by a Bavarian priest to the rescue at sea in a church magazine caused outrage. Christians could let migrants drown, writes Pastor Matthias Dreher of the Protestant Melanchthon Church in Nuremberg in it. For this, he also receives strong opposition from Bavaria’s Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm.

A spokesman for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria said on Tuesday that the church leadership now wants to meet Dreher for a discussion. Previously, the “Nürnberger Nachrichten” had reported on Dreher’s article in the correspondence sheet of the Pastors’ Association.

In it, Dreher argues that the refugees deliberately risked their lives to fulfill their wish for a better life. This, however, does not oblige Christians “ethically to appropriate fulfillment assistance. And further: “In the course of the doctrine of the two kingdoms, which leaves operative structural policy to the state, a Christian man can drown responsibility neglecting migrants, as long as he does not see a dying person in front of him like the Samaritan.

State Bishop Bedford-Strohm vehemently contradicts this. “His argument is based on the assertion that the sea rescuers are the reason why people risked the crossing of the Mediterranean. This assertion has been refuted,” he stressed. Letting people drown in the Mediterranean was irresponsible. Dreher did not want to comment further on the topic beyond his contribution on Tuesday when asked.

DPA.

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