ICC Note: After facing intimidation and threats from their Muslim neighbors, Syrian Christian refugees were forced to leave their asylum house in Sweden. The neighbors reportedly demanded they hide their crosses and banned the Christians from using communal areas in the home. The authorities were not contacted but the Christians fled immediately by their own will and power. These same Christians recently were fleeing the intimidation and violence of the Islamic State in Syria.
07-23-2015 Sweden (Christian Post): Syrian Christian refugees living in Sweden say they were forced out of their asylum house by Muslim refugees who demanded they hide their crosses and banned them from using communal areas in the home they shared.
“They dared not stay. The atmosphere became too intimidating. And they got no help,” said a Swedish government migration agency rep responsible for the center they were staying in to Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “They chose themselves to organize [a] new address and moved away without our participation because they felt a discomfort.”
The Christians, comprised of two families, were seeking asylum after fleeing from the Islamic State in Syria. And the place they were staying at housed around 80 people with many being Syrian Muslims.
While Swedish police said they weren’t notified about the harassment, immigration officials visited the residence to outline the government’s rules for those who continue to live in asylum housing.
The number of Syrian Christians facing persecution in their own country has reached “biblical proportions” during the last year, according to Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors.
“Christians, not just in their hundreds, Christians in their tens of thousands [are] fleeing Iraq and Syria with little more than the clothes on their backs because of increased pressure from the Islamic State,” said Mike Gore of Open Doors Australia during a webcast in November of last year.
“It is heart-breaking to witness the continuing devastation as a result of the war in Syria. Entire religious communities are being wiped out. In single attacks, Christian villages and centuries of their history has been destroyed,” said Todd Daniels, the regional manager for the Middle East brance of International Christian Concern, an organization dedicated to helping persecuted Christians.
“It is not just the past that is being lost, but the future as well as an entire generation is growing up displaced by this conflict. We strongly support the call for an end to the hostilities in such a way that creates a Syria where all of its citizens – including Christians – are able to freely live and carry out their faith. We urge world leaders to act quickly, and decisively to make this a reality,” added Daniel