CALAIS, France (AP) — With poignant prayers, scores of migrants attended the final service Sunday at a makeshift church in what remains of the squalid camp in the French port of Calais.
Mainly Eritrean migrants squeezed into the service at a small Orthodox church erected at the camp that has come to epitomize Europe's struggle to absorb migrants and refugees.
The church is one of many handmade structures— including mosques, schools and shops — that demonstrated the migrants' enterprising spirits and offered them solace amid hardship.
French authorities are evacuating the residents of the so-called "jungle" and razing its tents and shanties, which housed up to 10,000 people at its height. The slum-like conditions at the camp became an embarrassment to the French government, which is now relocating its residents to sites around France and urging the British government to do more to help.
Calais, a gateway to the English Channel, has long been a magnet for migrants from the Mideast and Africa seeking to reach Britain.
The clear-out operation is expected to finish soon, possibly as soon as Monday.
Aid group Auberge des Migrants called for visitors to join in Sunday's service to pay homage to those who built the church. Some of the migrants have apparently been living in the church itself since surrounding tents have been torn down.