TemplarsNow investigates the view of modern Knights Templar organisations on the present day refugee situation in Europe.
Today a (shortened) Swedish-English translation of the position of the Scandinavian OSMTH Grand Priorate, published in the 2015-2 issue of their magazine "Tempelherren", downloadable from their website.
"An actual question: How good do we manage and cope with unexpected changes?
In recent months, we have in a most concrete way been reminded that we live in an incredibly fast changing world. A current example is the challenge we now face in the form of the huge stream of refugees that seems to have surprised all of Western Europe. It puts our decision makers faced with a difficult humanitarian dilemma.
The number of refugees that already came, and the number still underway, compares well to the crowds that were in motion un the Great Migration time. Only during the month of October it was estimated that some 220,000 people were on their way to Europe. (....) The majority comes from areas affected by war in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. Another part consists of young people that we do not directly classify as refugees or asylum seekers. They are coming from poorer conditions, seeking a better life. This has always been the case, but the numbers are higher now.
The functions and mechanisms which we have over the years set up in our societies for normal conditions are tested to the limit. More resources, action and new costly measures are needed to keep the grip. Expensive measures that many "Old citizens and taxpayers" are dissatisfied of, and which provide a breeding ground for a protectonistic mindset. Various rumors and populist half truths may, unfortunately, all too easily spread in the social media. Fear of the unknown,selfishness and ignorance create intolerance and excesses in the form of violence and hate speech.A frightening development in our communities that must be resisted.
A development that we, Knights of a 900-year old Order on the charitable and attitude level, should inlfuence into a more humane direction. It is in times like this that our Knightly Ethics are on trial. Our communities change and regardless of the opinions we may personally have on the issue, we shall in our Christian ethos stand tall in following our guide. We shall endeavor to objectively, in speech and action, assist the weak and vulnerable. What we experience in the ritual of our Order's chapter, we put in everyday life. Thereby, hopefully, creating respect for ourselves and our words. Every single act of kindness is the Noble Knight worthy! (....)."
Illustration from the 2015-2 issue of the magazine "Tempelherren" of the Tempelherreorden Storpriorat Skandinavien, downloadable from their website.