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Brazilian Church Responds to Venezuelan Migrant Crisis

Significant Challenge in Recent Months

Solidarity in welcoming Venezuelan migrants is one of the challenges the Brazilian Catholic Church is facing in recent months. Most Venezuelans arrive in the country along the border of Pacaraima, in the state of Roraima, a situation that continues, despite the border being closed. The diocese of Roraima is one of the main centers that receive and welcome these migrants. In recent months the project “Paths of solidarity” has been created, in which the work of Caritas, together with other institutions of the local Church, is fundamental. In other places in Brazil, various parishes, schools, religious congregations are offering to welcome these migrants and offer them alternatives to help them in their lives.

One of these experiences is that of the parish of Santa Marta and Santa Paula, in the city of Leme, diocese of Limeira, State of São Paulo. In the statements sent to Fides News Agency by Caritas Roraima, the attitude of the parish priest, Father Isaiah Daniel, who contacted Mgr. Mario Antonio da Silva, Bishop of Roraima, emerges to see how the parish can show solidarity towards Venezuelan migrants.

This attitude can serve as an example to dialogue with other requests of public power and local networks, in order to be able to support the Venezuelan family that is welcomed by the parish. Caritas Roraima emphasizes that this experience shows that from parishes, experiences can be realized that transform the lives of concrete people.

At the same time, Caritas Roraima expects this type of attitude to lead more dioceses and parishes throughout the country to take on this type of initiative, which until now is not common in many Brazilian dioceses. In this sense, Mgr. Mario Antonio da Silva, in a letter sent to his confreres in the Episcopate, recently highlighted how the commitment that the Bishops themselves made during the 2018 General Assembly is put into practice: to be in solidarity with the many Venezuelan families in Roraima.

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