Who is welcome in the Sicilian town of Siculiana? | DW Documentary

In the small Sicilian town of Siculiana, people have long worshipped a statue depicting a Jesus who is black. However, many have a problem with the current wave of black refugees arriving here. Can the devout Siculians rediscover their love for their neighbors?

Almost all the young people have moved away from this tranquil town on the southern edge of Europe, because there is hardly any work for them. For many locals, the lack of work alone is reason enough to speak out against the refugee center located in the town. Some of the refugees have fled from African countries and their skin color also makes some locals suspicious. Which is ironic because for centuries, people here have been worshipping a crucifix statue depicting a black Jesus.

But there are also welcoming voices. When young Edward from Ghana expresses a desire to be allowed to carry the Jesus statue in the next big annual procession through the village, he meets with support. Will Edward and his two friends be allowed to participate in the event of the year?

In a journey that explores the origins of fear and prejudice against “the other”, the locals of this small European town are asked to confront their own identity, beginning with the icon central to their faith: a Black Jesus.

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