Glimmer of Hope for Refugees in Greece

Darren Carlson | December 3, 2015

It’s the screams of refugees heard at 3 a.m. that I will always remember about my visit to the Greek island of Kos. This tiny island—four miles off the coast of Turkey—is one of the primary entry points into the European Union for refugees from the Middle East. They are fleeing from Iran, Afghanistan, and Syria, and their screams arise out of lives thrown into chaos.

Once filled with tourists, the Kos beach is now littered with abandoned boats, electric engines, and life jackets. Refugees pay between $1,000 and $2,000 to ride with 20 people in a boat meant for 10. They’re given electric motors (think trolling motors if you fish) and are told they will make it. About halfway through the four-mile, middle-of-the-night journey the engines often give out, leaving fathers, mothers, and children to paddle for their lives. My friend met one man who’d trained for weeks and made the journey, swimming alone. Another Syrian was told Europeans would rape his wife and daughters, yet he still decided that risk was better than staying in his homeland.

When the refugees arrive on the beach they are greeted by the United Nations and, at the time of this writing, some Christian organizations as well. They are handed an assortment…

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