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Too many fake news stories about immigrants

· CCEE gathering urges accurate reporting of the phenomenon of human mobility ·

Stockholm, 17 July. “The trend of migration within the European continent has been and continues to be healthy for faith, because many Christians who arrive from Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa maintain and continue to live out their faith in the host countries, which are marked by increased secularization”. However, “an incorrect management of or the intentional manipulation of the migratory trend in social media has frequently contributed to misunderstandings or even hostility towards the communities who have welcomed them”. This was the concern expressed by Father José María La Porte, the Dean of the Faculty of Institutional Social Communication of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome) at the annual meeting of Bishops and Delegates of the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) responsible for the pastoral care of migrants. The conference was held in Stockholm and explored the theme “Immigration and public opinion: the dynamics of information”.

There were three days of meetings discussing several critical questions about migratory phenomena that clearly emerge in Europe today: “How to communicate, inform people, and above all teach Catholics a correct understanding of the trend of human migration? What are the tools that must be used? What are the best ways to witness to the good that is being done in Europe in this field, especially in the Catholic Church? What are the best ways to address the numerous fake news stories that fill social media platforms and alter people’s perception of reality?” It is precisely because migratory trends have “become increasingly political discussions” that European churches have decided to address the theme of communication. “To narrate human migration and its tragedies as well as its richness and beauty seem to be a fundamental responsibility of the Church.”

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