Charity urges Isle of Man to accept Afghan refugees

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Trinity Methodist ChurchImage source, Google
Image caption,
Christian Aid is holding an event of "quiet reflection" at Trinity Methodist Church on Thursday

The Isle of Man should consider housing refugees from Afghanistan, a charity has said.

Thousands of Afghans have been trying to flee the country after the Taliban seized control of the capital Kabul.

The Manx government previously ruled out housing Syrian refugees but has not yet revealed its position on accepting refugees from Afghanistan.

Christian Aid campaigner Louise Whitelegg urged the government to take a "broader perspective".

There needed to be a "proper conversation" about ways the island could help, she said.

The government has been contacted for a response.

'One world'

The island previously opted to send humanitarian aid to Syria instead of housing refugees.

Ms Whitelegg said the issue of humanitarian aid had "polarised opinion" as some took the "charity begins at home" stance.

"I don't dismiss that at all, but we have charities and government structures to help people in need on the island," she said.

She added: "Through the Covid crisis one thing we've learned is we are all one world. Whether it's a global communicative disease or a humanitarian crisis - we are one planet."

Image caption,
People line the road to the airport in Kabul

The charity is inviting people to Trinity Methodist Church in Douglas on Thursday between 16:00 and 20:00 BST to offer a "safe space for quiet reflection".

"I'm conscious of the fact that the island has ex-servicemen and woman who have served in Afghanistan, families of those who have died or been injured, and people who are from Afghanistan," Ms Whitelegg said.

A prayer vigil will also take place between 17:00 and 17:45 reflecting on the current humanitarian crisis after an earthquake in Haiti, as well as the situation in Afghanistan.

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