Asylum seekers in 'the jungle' given Bibles in their own language
Staff from Bible Society have given out Bibles to asylum seekers in 'the jungle' in Calais, as part of the society’s response to the refugee crisis in Europe. The team gave out over 500 New Testaments, Gospels and Bibles in Amharic and Arabic.
The Bibles were given to the leaders of St Michael's makeshift church to distribute in the camp. Iraqi Christians took the Arabic Bibles and Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians were given the Amharic texts.
Solomon*, aged 28, from Ethiopia took an Amharic New Testament and beamed as he said his favourite verse was John 14:1 ‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me’.
He arrived in the camp five months ago after he paid traffickers $6000 to take him from Ethiopia to Italy via Sudan and Libya. He has left behind a wife and this daughter Ruth, who is three.
Solomon has tried to apply for asylum in France but the authorities have yet to process his application. Over the last couple of months he has attempted to board both the Eurotunnel and vehicles waiting for the ferry. He stopped trying last week and says that he fervently believes God now wants him to stay in the camp to help other asylum seekers.
In addition to Bibles, the Society gave out clothes, blankets and shoes, donated by staff and local churches. The team also spent time talking to men and women in the camp and praying with those who requested it.
The camp is currently home to around 3,000 men but also 333 women and 123 children. People told us: ‘the jungle is not for us: the jungle is for animals’.
*Name changed at his request
Author: Rachel Rounds, 20 September 2015 (Last updated: 13 July 2021)