In heeding the biblical call to love strangers and to do justice, many members of Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) have opened their hearts and homes to those fleeing Ukraine, said PKN General Secretary Rev. Dr. Rene de Reuver in his recent message. Through Kerk in Actie, the diaconal programme of PKN provides financial support for local projects in aid of refugees and displaced persons, such as providing language services, distributing clothes, and helping refugees integrate into a neighbourhood or village.
With Ter Apel, the Netherlands’ main reception centre for asylum seekers reaching its capacity limit, local churches in Groningen and its surroundings have also stepped in by converting its buildings into emergency shelters, said Dr Reuver. Through the “De Thuisgevers” project in Kampen, the church makes housing available to status holders (those who have received their residence permit) for six months, so that they can build a life in the place where the civil municipality eventually provides a permanent home.
In addition to its care for refugee children in Greece, Kerk in Actie supports several projects for undocumented migrants, especially in the parishes of large cities. Many are labour migrants, or have remained after a failed asylum procedure, and they are sometimes assisted in a safe return to their country of origin.
Dated 26 October 2022
Images via PKN website.