ICC Note: Swedish asylum centres are proving to be unsafe as Christians and other religious minorities suffer persecution within. Detailed death threats and escalating harassment has made living conditions unbearable for some Christian refugees. In one specific case, threats came from a man claiming to have fought with jihadist groups in Syria.
04/29/16 Sweden (Christian Today): Christians and other religious minorities are being persecuted in Swedish asylum centres, and provisions must be made for their safety, campaigners say.
According to the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, one Christian refugee in Kalmar, south-eastern Sweden, was threatened with “slaughter”, and having his throat cut by a man who claimed to have fought with jihadist groups in Syria. A Pakistani Christian couple moved into a church when the husband’s name was sprayed on a wall near their room calling for his death. A separate group of asylum seekers in Kalmar were forced to leave their accommodation when their harassment escalated.
“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,” said Jacob Rudolfsson, deputy secretary-general of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance.
“Basic protection should be provided by the state, but when the state fails to protect Christian asylum seekers, Christian organizations must take action.”
In a letter dated March 14, Patriarch Ignatuis Aphrem II, Supreme Head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, urged Swedish authorities to intervene.
He said he was “dismayed” by reports of Christians being harassed while in asylum accommodation. “This situation does not reflect the culture of the peaceful and loving Swedish people,” he wrote.
“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.