The World Prays for Migrants and Refugees

World Refugee Day is being observed Saturday with the aim of raising awareness of refugees throughout the world. In Italy, a special prayer vigil was held in Rome this week titled “Dying of Hope,” in memory of the thousands who lose their lives at sea, on their journeys in search of a better life in Europe.Inside the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, many gathered to pray in memory of those who have drowned in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa and for those who continue to do so. Africans and Italians maintained social distancing inside the church as they prayed together. The Secretary General of the Italian Bishops Conference, Monsignor Stefano Russo, addressed the congregation.A woman with a face mask speaks with medical staff in protective clothing at a refugee camp after two suspect cases of coronavirus were allegedly confirmed and the area cordoned off as a red zone, on the outskirts of Rome, April 8, 2020.Marco Impagliazzo is a member of the Catholic Community of Sant’ Egidio who organized the vigil. He said it is essential that everyone, Africans and Europeans, deal with the pandemic on the African continent together.Impagliazzo said that if this does not happen, there will be other long waves of migrant arrivals and the virus must help us understand that we must all row in the same direction.More than 40,000 migrants are believed to have died in efforts to reach Europe via land or sea crossings since 1990. 

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