Austrian Pastor vows to protect five Syrian refugees

The pastor of the village of Alberschwende in Vorarlberg has vowed to protect five Syrian refugees who are threatened with deportation and has given them accommodation in a parish house.

The men are due to be deported to Hungary and Italy, but Pastor Peter Mathei has said there are moral reasons why they should be allowed to stay in Austria.

The church is not allowed to grant asylum, so the police still have the power to come and remove the five men from the parish property, if they choose to do so…

…”Hungary is not a safe country for asylum seekers,” Pastor Mathei said. He said media reports indicate that refugees in Hungary are imprisoned and mistreated.

Erich Schwarzmann, a spokesman for the local citizens group ‘We are asylum’ told the ORF that he was also strongly opposed to refugees being deported to Hungary. “They would rather go back to Syria, where they risk death, than be sent to Hungary, after all they have been through,” he said. ‘We are asylum’ has been supporting the refugees for months….