GERMANY - 350,000 Seek Asylum

Arno Froese

Altogether 352,000 people sought asylum in Germany in 2023, with some 329,000 putting in a first application—a rise here of 51%, or 111,000 people, compared with the previous year—the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has said.

In response to the latest statistics, the opposition has accused the government of promoting illegal immigration with its policies.

The figures for 2023 show the most asylum applications since 2016, when 722,370 initial applications were filed. 

Most of the 2023 applications came from people from Syria (104,561), Turkey (62,624) and Afghanistan (53,282). A majority of the Syrians and Afghans, whose countries are stricken by conflict and human rights violations, received a positive decision.

According to Interior Minister Nancy Faeser of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’ Social Democrats (SPD), the statistics demonstrated that the government had to continue to enforce its current policies.

“The asylum numbers for 2023 show that we must rigorously continue our course of limiting irregular migration,” she said.

Under the system, she said, processing of applications for people with little chance of success would be carried out at the bloc’s external borders.

Opposition conservatives, however, said the statistics showed that the government was not tackling the problems of migration effectively.

“The government is not coming to grips with the migration crisis,” said the deputy leader of the parliamentary party of the bloc formed by the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CSU).

“Despite the strain on municipalities, the [coalition government] is firmly sticking by its intentions such as making it easier to obtain citizenship, thus giving ever more encouragement for further illegal migration,” Andrea Lindholz of the CSU said.

-www.dw.com, 9 January 2024

Arno's Commentary

Immigration—legal and illegal—has caused many governments to lose support and has sprouted new, strongly anti-immigrant political parties. Under the previous German administration of Angela Merkel, she made the popular/unpopular statement: “All are welcome.”

Based on Wikipedia, statistics from among the industrial nations show Australia with 30% of its population as foreign-born. That is followed by Switzerland at 29.9%, Canada 21.3%, Austria 19.9%, Germany 15.7%, and the USA 15.4%.

It is interesting to compare the population density of various countries. Germany has a population density of 238 people per square kilometer; Switzerland is 220, Austria 109, USA 36, Canada only 4, and Australia 3.

While many countries have implemented stricter enforcement of immigration policies, it stands to reason that there is no end in sight. As the world becomes more mechanized, industrialized, and globalized, there will be more internationalization. 

Based a Google search, at any given moment, there are about 9,700 commercial airliners in the sky, carrying over 1.2 million people. But that’s not all; the estimated yearly production of passenger planes is forecast to rise to 2,111 in 2029. In plain words, more people, more travel.

What should the Christian position be? First of all, realize who we are. Ephesians 2:12 reveals our position: “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” Note the words, “aliens … strangers … no hope.” We need to let these words deeply penetrate our spirit and soul, to realize our blessed fortune. The command God gave to the Israelites is valid for us too: “Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:21).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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