The Swedish church and police have both criticised one another over the weekend following migrant deportations, with the church attempting to protect migrants whilst authorities raided a church-sponsored migrant camp in Skåne.
The Swedish church, known globally for its extreme-liberal stances on social and religious issues, has allowed many asylum seekers, who may otherwise face deportation, stay with them in order to avoid authorities in the past. The church has now come out to criticise police who raided a hostel in which the church had housed several families of asylum seekers over the weekend, Sveriges Radio reports.
Ewa-Gun Westford, spokesman for the police in Skåne defended the raid saying: “It was a normal service measure, based on our mission, among other things, to seek people who no longer have the right to live in the kingdom. From our point of view, we have done a fairly normal service assignment.”
Malmö priest Per Kristiansson who organised the camp slammed the actions of the police saying: “Formally, they are correct. But we claim that the church must be a protected place for all people, and especially people who for are some reason on the run.”
Police spokesman Westford denied that the church had any legal basis to house people wanted by police saying “the church is not a protected place,” and added: “There are no protected zones. Only embassies can act like that.”
The deportation of failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants has become a hot topic in Sweden as many left wing politicians and activists argue that countries like Afghanistan are too dangerous to send people back to. In Norway, the government countered this claim saying there were only two provinces in the country which are unsafe, whilst the rest of the country was safe for deported migrants.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 5, 2015
The Swedish church has caused controversy not only in Sweden but worldwide with some of its stances on social and religious matters. The lesbian Archbishop of Stockholm was slammed by critics in 2015 when she argued for the removal of crucifixes in churches and the addition of a prayer space for Muslims.
Others, like Tobias Andersson, the national president of the Sweden Democrat’s youth wing, the Young Swedes, have slammed the state-church for supporting Islamists over Christians.
In an article for Breitbart London last year he wrote: “In one of the roughest times yet for Christians, the leader of the Swedish Church is colluding with Islamists to cover up radical Islamic barbarity.”