As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
The church in Oberhausen has temporary removed altars and pulpits, “just to make the Muslim migrants feel at home.” They will provide free shelter, meals and laundry. In Greece, an Orthodox church has been turned into a small hospital.
A German Evangelical priest has offered his parish church up to become migrant housing, and will be stripping out most of the fittings to ensure their comfort.
This Protestant church Königshardt-Schmachtendorf in Oberhausen, western Germany, has removed altars, pulpits, and crucifixes from inside the place of worship just to make the Muslim migrants feel at home.
Reiner Suhr, the spokesperson for Oberhausen City, told der Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung that Joachim Deterding, parish priest of the Evangelical church in Oberhausen, offered his church to the city authorities, and they gladly accepted the help that the church is extending to the refugees out of kindness.
SHELTHER FOR 50 REFUGEES
Pastor Deterding explained that they are just providing a temporary shelter for 50 refugees from the Middle East. In addition to this free shelter, the church will give free meals and laundry service to the Muslim refugees. He is encouraging locals members of the church to help convert and run the migrant accommodation.
It is the first time in Germany a church has been turned over to migrant accommodation. The church website advertises services given in English for the majority of refugees who speak no or little German, proudly proclaims “Refugees welcome… we are all citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”.
ORTHODOX CHURCH IN GREECE TURNED INTO A HOSPITAL
On the Greek island of Lesvos, meanwhile, an Orthodox Church has been turned into a makeshift shelter and hospital for arriving refugees.
"Bunches of sick people inside the churches. Even the priest was helping and his wife was running back and forth with cups of tea for the wet and cold refugees," Helen Zahos, a volunteer in the church, said in an article on Pappas Post.