For Catholics, Easter is a time to remember how Jesus died for their sins thousands of years ago. But if Jesus returned in 2021, would he be treated differently? Xarabank host Peppi Azzopardi mused this question in a poem on how people would react if Jesus were living today, as a migrant risking his life at sea.
“If Jesus came today, we wouldn’t even recognise him. We’d close our doors to his face. That’s where the crucifixion would begin and when Jesus’ pain would begin – when he, like migrants, is treated like dirt,” he said.
Azzopardi paints a rather painful picture of how Jesus would once again face abuse and ridicule, just like migrants in Malta do.
“He’ll gather crowds as anti-migrant protests begin and police take him away to prison to strip him of clothes and dignity,” Azzopardi continues.
His poem comes as another Easter tragedy looms in nearby waters. 270 people, including women and children, remain stranded in Malta’s search and rescue zone, according to migrant hotline service Alarm Phone.
The boats have been adrift for days, despite the fact that both Armed Forces Malta and the Italian Coast Guard are informed of the situation.
— aditus foundation (@aditusNGO) April 3, 2021
“The situation of the 270 people at sea is still critical. Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) and the Italian Coast Guard refuse to provide assistance or to coordinate rescue by merchant vessels. They have all been abandoned at sea for many hours at risk of drowning. We don’t want another Easter tragedy” the hotline tweeted.
In Easter 2020, at least 12 people died at sea, a tragedy dubbed as “an Easter Massacre” by local NGO Repubblika. The group accused Prime Minister Robert Abela and other officials of going orders of an illegal pushback against conventions of international law.
What do you think of Azzopardi’s poem?