An episode of Songs of Praise that was filmed at the Calais migrant camp aired last night on BBC One.
Presented by Sally Magnusson, the programme was filmed in the area of temporary settlements known as “the Jungle”, which includes a makeshift wood and tarpaulin church. The programme saw residents of the camp tell their stories to the camera.
In Calais thousands of migrants are camped while attempting to reach Britain by crossing the Channel.
Activity is taking place at the Channel Tunnel while migrants have attempted to hide on lorries driving in the direction of the Eurotunnel, or jump or cut security fences to try to board trains.
However, the programme, which had been criticised before airing for perceived politicisation, received further criticism for not actually showing any hymns from the migrant camp.
Before the broadcast the priest of the migrant’s church, Hagos Kesete, said: “People have a problem. They don’t want cameras. If our government sees us on camera, maybe our family will have a problem.
“I have so many reasons I cannot say. I have fear inside. I am not happy to speak on video.”
The programme was broadcast soon after Pope Francis called on world powers to take action and help migrants who are fleeing violence.
Valerio Neri, director general of Save the Children, Italy, echoed the Pope’s plea.
He said: “It’s essential that the rescue at sea of migrants is a priority for Italy and for Europe, and that the efforts of the international community to address the crisis in Libya does not take away attention and resources necessary for saving the lives of migrant children, who are vulnerable and who continue to risk their lives by attempting the treacherous crossing.”
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