When clinging to life at sea, even a non-believer might be moved to pray for salvation.
Imagine a group of refugees’ surprise, then, when on the horizon they see not only a rescue vessel inspired by Pope Francis, but Hollywood star Angelina Jolie.
The glamorous actress was the unlikely guest at a naval base in Malta recently, meeting Syrian refugees who had survived deadly boat journeys to Europe.
Among them were a couple from Damascus whose three children had died during the crossing, and a doctor from Aleppo whose wife and 3-year-old daughter drowned.
“We have to understand what drives people to take the fearful step of risking their children’s lives on crowded, unsafe vessels,” said Jolie, the Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“It is the overwhelming desire to find refuge.”
As conflict rages in the Middle East, over 130,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year — 2,500 of these dying while attempting to cross the Mediterranean, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Judging from the photos, Syrians are well in the minority — they are largely sub-Saharan economic migrants. The Muslim countries can take the Syrian refugees — I would be prepared to take the Christians but if we can reliably tell them apart. Both the Pope and Angelina Jolie need to STFU.