The latest tragic incident of hundreds of African migrants drowning in European waters tells a wider story.
Scratch beneath the surface and for many of the migrants, their stories are not only of wanting a better life. Often they will be of fleeing persecution or conflict at home, and paying their life savings to smugglers who promise their passage to the safety of European shores.
The sinking of a boat carrying around 500 migrants Oct. 3, killing at least 232 of them, is the latest in a long line of accidents in which vulnerable migrants pay with their lives after the failure of vessels often described as “unseaworthy.”
Father Mussie Zerai, chairman of the Habeshia Agency, which works on behalf of these migrants, says he believes the majority of those involved in last’s week’s shipwreck were Christians.