The Catholic bishops of Southern Africa have condemned a midnight raid of Johannesburg's Central Methodist Church on Friday, by the South African police in search of illegal Zimbabwean immigrants. The spokesman of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, said the raid was a "violation of the status of the Church as a sanctuary. By providing shelter to the homeless, the stranger and the refugee the Church was carrying out the injunction of Jesus Christ. Zimbabweans who have fled to South Africa, Cardinal Napier said, should be regarded as prima facie refugees because, under the terms of the OAU Refugee Convention, they left their home because of events seriously disturbing public order. The cardinal said the police action "was entirely inappropriate, uncalled for and an unwelcome manifestation of xenophobia. It is not how refugees should be treated. Indeed, it is not how any human being should be treated by officials of a state committed to upholding human dignity. Source: CISA
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