An article appearing today in the Local (via TT news service), reports a radical departure from Christian practice. A Bishop’s letter urges priests of the Church of Sweden not to christen new Christian converts if they are refugees. The main rationale is that conversion could prove dangerous if the refugees are deported back to their home countries.
Of course, the Local fails to explain why or where conversion presents a danger. Political correctness prevents the Local from stating that Christians are often a target for terrorism in Muslim countries. In Baghdad last November the brutal murders perpetrated by Islamic terrorists killed 58 and wounded nearly 80 other Christians. This was the worst, but not the only violent incident targeting Christians in Iraq.
As we reported in January, Sweden deported Christian Iraqis back to Iraq on “death flights” this year, despite protests and concern for human rights violations. Approximately 70 protesters were arrested when they opposed the government’s actions.
Now in a hypocritical statement amounting to complicity with morally questionable government policy, the Church of Sweden has “solved” part of the problem of anti-Christian terror by eliminating Christianity from the equation. In this warped logic, if deportees are not Christian (i.e. Muslim) it "fixes" the problem of violence against minorities by not expanding the minority population. The bishop’s letter also questions the sincerity of refugee converts.
It’s interesting to compare this to the position of the Swedish Church on the Palestinian liberation theology manifesto, the supersessionist Kairos Document . The Swedish Church seems to support Christians living in the Palestinian Authority (and presumably Hamas-led Gaza), despite Islamist pressure on these diminishing and threatened communities. But, according to the Swedish Church, the troubles of Palestinian Christians are Palestinian problems, to be seen in the context of Christian faith:
-“In the Kairos document we have now received a different message from you – our Palestinian sisters and brothers in Christ. It is a cry from the heart of Palestinian suffering, giving voice to an honest and intensive reflection about the meaning of Christian faith in the difficult situation you are experiencing.”
The Swedish Church treats the problem of Islamic terror and repression against Christians by either restricting its own spread of Christianity, or, in the Palestinian context, by putting the blame for the woes of Christians on Israel.
The Church of Sweden is clearly not supporting Middle Eastern Christians with its hypocritical and apologetic stance. By denying official Church conversion to asylum seekers in Sweden, its position clearly puts the blame for terror on some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. And in its complicity with anti-humanitarian Swedish government policies, the Church fails to provide moral leadership, Christian or otherwise.
By Chanah Shapira