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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Yorkshire Christians to march for destitute asylum seekers
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¬†Christians from across West Yorkshire will be having a pilgrimage through Leeds city centre on the afternoon of Saturday 4 December in solidarity with the people who are seeking asylum who have been made destitute. The pilgrimage is part of Church Action on Poverty's new 'Living Ghosts' campaign to end the destitution of people seeking asylum. Hundreds of Christians have joined the campaign over recent weeks, including over 30 Bishops. Some are also taking part in the Endurance Challenge to live as a destitute asylum seeker for this first week of Advent - surviving on £5 and a food parcel. The Pilgrimage starts at University Steps, Leeds University at 2.30pm. At 3.15pm they will reach St Augustine's Church, Wrangthorn, Hyde Park Road. A short service will be held at St Urban's Church Grove Road, at 4.30pm. Reverend Canon Kathryn Fitzsimons, from the Anglican diocese of Ripon and Leeds, said: "In this rich and welcoming country of ours we now have people seeking asylum who are destitute, homeless, or living on food parcels. Many of these people are 'living ghosts' that no one knows about. "These problems would be eradicated if those seeking asylum were allowed to sustain themselves and contribute to wider society through paid work. "This would stop people disappearing ≠ beyond the radar of the government. It would bring new and skilled people into our legal economy helping to make our society prosperous. "Britain has a long history of welcoming people escaping poverty and suffering and recognising their rights to 'food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services' (UN Declaration of Human Rights). Our society believes that everyone within our borders who can work should be able to, and there is security for those that can't. We call on the Government to uphold these values and change the policies that are making people destitute." Living Ghosts is a campaign of Church Action on Poverty with the support of the Churches Commission for Racial Justice, Churches Refugee Network, Enabling Christians in Serving Refugees, Jesuit Refugee Service and the National Catholic Refugee Forum. A Campaign Pack is available from 0161 2369321.
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