Christian refugees along with refugees from other religious minorities are facing persecution, in Sweden’ asylum centers. There are certain reports being aired by the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, that Christian and other refugees are being persecuted, further recommending that provisions should be made for their safety.
The Swedish Evangelical Alliance, reported another instance when a Pakistani Christian couple was forced to take shelter in a church after the husband’s name was spray painted on their room’s wall with a message calling for his death. At another occasion, a group of refugees seeking asylum were forced to relocate form their accommodation after persecution and harassment reached excessive level.
In a statement, the Swedish Evangelical Alliance- deputy secretary-general, Jacob Rudolfsson stated, “No one wants a society where people are divided up on the basis of religious beliefs, sexuality, ethnicity, or nationality, but this is an urgent situation that must be resolved. Basic protection should be provided by the state, but when the state fails to protect Christian asylum seekers, Christian organizations must take action.”
Seeing the escalating situation, Patriarch Ignatuis Aphrem II, Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, also wrote a letter to the Swedish authorities to look into the matter.
In his letter, the Patriarch said he was “dismayed” by reports of Christians being harassed and persecuted while living in asylum accommodations in Sweden. “This situation does not reflect the culture of the peaceful and loving Swedish people. Christians do not live in refugee camps in the Middle East, because, there too, they are persecuted by Muslim extremists. Because of that, most of the time, they are not entitled to aid from the UN. We, the Churches and community-based organizations, are doing our best to help them.”
“To witness that they are once more being persecuted at Swedish asylum accommodations makes us very sad. We expect the Swedish Government and the concerned authorities to immediately make sure that these people are safe.
A distinct asylum accommodation for Christians and other asylum seekers is essential. We appeal to you to set off such a place and give the word asylum back its true meaning of protection and safety.”