Increasing reports about Christians harassed by hardline Muslim fellow migrants are prompting calls for non-Muslim asylum centres to be set up in Sweden.
According to the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, one Christian refugee in Kalmar in the southeast of the country was threatened with having his throat slit by a man who claimed to have fought with jihadists 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, while, according to an article by Christian Today, two women were told by other asylum seekers to convert to Islam and cover their heads, their children being called “kuffar” or “infidels.”
It’s mostly Christians, atheists, Druze and moderate Muslims who are being discriminated against by Islamic radicals, says Nuri Kino, an Assyrian activist in Sweden.
In a letter dated March 14, the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church Patriarch Ignatuis Aphrem II urged Swedish authorities to intervene.
“Christians do not live in refugee camps in the Middle East, because, there too, they are persecuted by Muslim extremists,” he said, calling for a distinct asylum accommodation for Christians and other minority asylum seekers.
“It is obvious that we are not able to protect them at the existing accommodations,” Kino echoed the Patriarch’s concern. “We cannot live on with the romantic idea of a harmonious mosaic of religions and ethnicity in our accommodations for asylum seekers. That time is past.”
The issue goes beyond Sweden. Earlier this year global Christian advocate Open Doors reported a spate of incidents in northern France involving Iranian Christian converts being persecuted by Iraqi Muslims.
In Germany, The Archbishop of Cologne has warned that Christian refugees were being threatened by other asylum seekers in refugee camps, reported the Catholic international weekly The Tablet in February.