Rome, September 14, 2018 (NEV / CS31) – “The measures envisaged by the Salvini Decree on immigration and asylum are violating fundamental international agreements and end up criminalizing refugees”. This was stated by Paolo Naso, coordinator of Mediterranean Hope – Program for refugees and migrants of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy (FCEI). “Should this rule pass – he continued – asylum seekers could be treated as criminals and deprived of their liberty to be locked up in just any place at the disposal of the public security authorities. Moreover, with an arbitrary anti-constitutional ram stroke, the decree cancels the humanitarian protection provided for by art. 266 of the European Constitutional Treaty. We are therefore faced with a new and unjustified tightening that does not affect those who commit crimes, but those who are seeking protection. These measures – concluded Naso – will certainly be opposed for their unconstitutionality. As protestant churches, meanwhile, we continue with conviction in our work of reception, ready to join the Catholic and secular forces that – in Italy and in Europe – challenge the climate of intolerance and xenophobia fueled by the hammering measures of the Interior Ministry. In recent weeks, as FCEI, we have launched a Welcome Manifesto that commits us to fight, through preaching, information and education, ‘the political campaign against migrants and asylum seekers which, in the face of decreasing and perfectly sustainable arrivals in the framework of European solidarity, exacerbates and dramatizes the public debate”. With this manifesto, which we invite to post up outside every church, we declare that we are victims of a deception which dramatizes a serious problem that a great country such as Italy, could face in accordance with its laws and its humanitarian tradition”.