Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu's foundation says refugees fleeing to Europe from conflicts in Syria and elsewhere deserve to be treated as "equals."

The foundation said Tuesday that people may feel moved by the plight of the refugees, but tend to disavow them when called upon to share with those who look different and have different cultural and religious beliefs.

The foundation says the sight of Germans welcoming refugees is inspiring. Britain and France have also agreed to take in thousands of refugees.

Tutu, 83, has been hospitalized several times since July, when he was diagnosed with a persistent infection. His daughter Mpho said in August that he had been praying for refugees while in the hospital.