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Sweden: Church and Mosque unite to help the refugees


Europen refugee crisis

As the refugees continue to pour in Europe, Swedes put on display an outburst of generosity as they donate money to the battered refugees.

At the same time, a church and a mosque have also joined hands to generate funds for the accommodation of the refugees. In this regard the Vicar of the Katarina Church- Olle Carlsson said, “Their professionalism, language skills and understanding of other cultures made the mosque an obvious partner for us. We are small, but we have a unique cooperation with an organisation that has a lot of information, and the big asylum companies don’t have that.”

Katarina Church which is located in Stockholm, is partnering in this project with a nearby Stockholm Mosque. For the first time, a church and mosque have collaborated, Abdallah Salah – secretary general of the charity Islamic Relief in Sweden said. Salah is working representing the mosque in the joint venture with the church.

“I hope we can export this idea to other countries, to show that we have to work together, live together, that we have a future together.We must find methods of cooperation, and we will find them.”

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After a partnership of four months, a business project was initiated which is expected to compete with the companies in Sweden. Their collaboration started in September, 2015 as they rallied together to offer beds for one-third of all the transit refugees who entered into Stockholm while on their way to other European countries.

Initially the program was planned that the refugees would come to the mosque for food and a wash, then go to the church for a bed, this plan worked well. A 27-year-old refugee, who fled from Iraq, was one of such refugees who were offered bed in the church.

“In Stockholm at the station I was met by volunteers with food and water. They asked where would I prefer to go, the mosque or the church? I said the church,” Mohammad recalls. “It was a beautiful feeling. Back home Muslims are not allowed to go to churches. Some refugees came to the church just because they wanted to find out what it was like. They found people respected them, even though they were Christians and we were Muslims.”

However, Olle Carlsson says, “There is some resistance and concern about this joint organisation. Some people within our Christian community think we are submissive, but Jesus says ‘Put yourself last in line.'” I mean, there is no reason to see this as a matter of prestige.”