04/01/2012 2:20 pm
Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the theme “Migration and the New Evangelization” for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be celebrated on Sunday 15 January 2012.
In this year’s Message, the Pope calls upon the Church to step up her missionary work in the areas where the Gospel is proclaimed for the first time and in countries with a strong Christian tradition.
"Today's migration phenomenon is also a providential opportunity for the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world. Men and women from various regions of the earth who have not yet encountered Jesus Christ or know Him only partially, ask to be received in countries with an ancient Christian tradition. It is necessary to find adequate ways for them to meet and to become acquainted with Jesus Christ and to experience the invaluable gift of salvation which, for everyone, is a source of 'life in abundance'".
The Holy Father asks for particular understanding and welcome of asylum seekers:
"Asylum seekers, who fled from persecution, violence and situations that put their life at risk, stand in need of our understanding and welcome, of respect for their human dignity and rights, as well as awareness of their duties.”
Pope Benedict calls on the press to make known ‘correctively, objectively and honestly’ the ‘situation of those who have been forced to leave their homeland’:
"The press and the other media have an important role in making known, correctly, objectively and honestly, the situation of those who have been forced to leave their homeland and their loved ones and want to start building a new life.
World Day of Migrants and Refugees was instituted by Pope Pius X in 1914.