Yesterday’s election to the European Parliament was a shock to many people: the clear winners are the far-right, xenophobic and racist parties. Parties that want to decrease or stop non-Western immigration, and whos representatives say the most insane things about Muslims, Jews, homosexuals and other minorities:
Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of french party Front National that won a stunning 24 % of the french vote, has famously questioned the facts concerning the holocaust and has said that the gas chambers were a minor detail of world war two. And just a few weeks ago he said that the Ebola epidemic might solve the “migration problem” by killing non-Europeans. Jean-Marie led Front National for almost 40 years until he handed over the leadership to his daughter three years ago. She has distanced herself from her father’s antisemitism, instead the party is now extremely islamophobic and wants to stop non-Western immigration to France.
In the United Kingdoms, UKIP won a victory similar to Front National, and while they are not very antisemitic they are very hostile to immigrants. Their leader Nigel Farage has made racist statements concerning Romanians, he only wants to welcome Christians from Syria and not Muslims, and the party is overflowing with hostile stereotyping of non-British nationalities.
The depressing list could go on and on. The Danish People’s Party, that also had a success in the European election yesterday, wants to totally stop Muslim immigration, which obviously is clear religious discrimination. The Austrian FPÖ, which for a long time was lead by neo-Nazi Jörg Haider and which wants to stop immigration to “protect the cultural identity of Austria”, got 20% of the Austrian votes. And then we got the really bad guys: Jobbik from Hungary whose supporters say that the Roma people will die, that wants to register all Jews because they view them as a “national security risk” and that send neo-Nazis to the European Parliament. And of course Golden Dawn, who got 10 % of the Greek votes – their representatives deny the holocaust and quote the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in the Greek parliament. And oh, their flag is very similar to the Germanic Nazi swastika.
Now, some would say that it is unfair to talk about these parties as one group – there are some major differences between UKIP and Golden Dawn. And that’s true to some extent, which is evident by the fact that many of these parties don’t want to cooperate with each other – Front National distance themselves from Jobbik and Golden Dawn because they’re nazis, and UKIP and the Danish People’s Party distance themselves from Front National because they’re Nazis. But even though there are differences, these parties all share an excluding nationalism and a hostility towards immigrants – especially non-White immigrants.
The ambition to close European borders will kill people. In fact, it’s already killing them. Thousands of people have drowned when they try to get into Europe on unsafe boats, since it’s illegal for them to come by plane, train or some other legal way. And then think about the people who die because they can neither take the plane or an unsafe boat to Europe. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, six million people have died since 1997 due to the conflict there. Many of them were probably to poor to go anywhere, but even those that would have had money to fly to Europe would not be able to, since it is illegal to come to Europe of your goal is to seek asylum.
It’s impossible to know how many people have died because of Europe’s closed borders, but it’s clear that even more would die if the populist xenophobic parties manages to close the borders even more. The new holocaust is already here. And when it comes to Jobbik and Golden Dawn, I fear that in ten to twenty years they may actually commit a real genocide on Romas, Jews, Muslims and homosexuals if nothing is done. We should not say that it can’t happen, because when it comes to Europe it has happened big time.
We desperately need to pray for Europe. Pray for love, peace, compassion, generosity, hospitality and friendship. Pray for internationalism, solidarity and justice. Pray for all of our hundreds of minorities, that they will be comforted and strengthened in their fight against evil. Pray for revival, evangelism and more of God’s presence in Europe.