Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Orthodox churches repeatedly vandalized by Muslim refugees on Lesvos
The tense situation on the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean, now home to tens of thousands of refugees, mainly from predominantly Muslim countries, is like a “time bomb ready to blow,” reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
The locals have reached their limits and are in a constant state of anger and sorrow as the refugees repeatedly attack and desecrate their Orthodox holy sites.
In particular, residents of Moria, Lesvos complain that groups of illegal Muslim immigrants have repeatedly vandalized churches in the area and made direct threats against the Orthodox faith. The Church of St. Catherine is now locked, as residents try to block the entrance and protect it from being desecrated again.
The windows of the church have been broken, the holy cross has been thrown down, and the icons have been overturned. Refugees have also damaged the chapel of Taxiarchis (the Archangel Michael), the patron saint of Mytilini, the capital of Lesvos, breaking in to sleep there.
With the help of the police, local residents managed to kick the refugees out of the Taxiarchis chapel, “but the picture inside the church was tragic.”
According to a recent report from the Guardian, there are more than 42,000 immigrants on Lesvos and a handful of other islands, who are “unable to leave because of a containment policy determined by the EU, they are forced to remain on the islands until their asylum requests are processed by a system both understaffed and overstretched.”
Police on Lesvos clashed with some 2,000 Afghani migrants and refugees who were participating in a protest rally from the Moria camp to Mytilini last Monday to demand better living conditions and a acceleration of asylum procedures.
The conditions at the Moira camp are widely recognized to be extremely poor.