SÃO PAULO (RNS) — Refugees fleeing Venezuela’s ongoing economic collapse are crossing the country’s borders to Colombia and Brazil, adding a new front in Latin America’s already critical migration situation, with thousands facing dangerous journeys to escape famine, poverty and political chaos.

Mormons, Baptists, Buddhists and other faith groups have stepped up their relief programs across Latin America, but for Catholic Church leaders, the flow of refugees has overwhelmed efforts to meet Pope Francis’ call to provide “hospitality and acceptance” for immigrants on his native continent.

Several Catholic congregations are devoted to immigration, such as the Scalabrini International Migration Network. “Other groups, among them the Jesuits, Franciscans, the Caritas organizations and some national conferences of bishops, are working hard on this issue,” said the Rev.

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