While the EU comes under mounting pressure to turn a worsening refugee emergency in the Central Mediterranean, a tiny Italian village has succeeded in turning its own faith by offering desperate refugees homes and common hopes for the future.
On 3 October 2013 the world witnessed the most dramatic human disaster in the Mediterranean Sea since the Second World War. Of a fishing boat that left Libyan waters with 518 Somali and Eritrean refugees, only 155 made it to the Italian island of Lampedusa. Rescue workers recuperated over 300 corpses from the swelling waters, while others remained stuck in the wreck. Survivors stated that a few passengers, including, apparently, the ship’s captain, set fire to a sheet to attract attention from passing vessels.