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Immigration: a challenge for Scottish churches

Migrants are making a positive impact on the church in Scotland but churches are often ill prepared to make the migrant community feel welcome, according to Dr Nelu Balaj, Racial Justice Officer with Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS).

“A considerable number of immigrants are coming from a church related background in their own country and would love to attend and be involved in our local churches,” he said.

“Unfortunately this is often impossible because churches are ill prepared to make the migrant community feel welcome, and sometimes our obsession with the ‘status quo’ might turn them away from our church doors.”

But Dr Balaj said there were many instances where churches had been actively seeking to help immigrants in practical ways, while some churches had asked assistance from sister churches in the countries of origin of migrants living in the area they serve.

“Many recognise the value of the work and support churches offer but there is still more churches could do to help with immigration in their local area. It is often the case that churches know their local area better than anyone else. As a result they might be in the best position to inform the community about the immigrant population in the area,” he added.

Full story at Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS).

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