A number of Christian refugees have been denied asylum in Sweden after failing a difficult theology-based quiz which is administered by immigration authorities in order to determine the authenticity of their faith.
Tragically, without asylum into the western nation, the refugees will be left at grave risk of persecution upon returning to their home countries.
A damning new report from a Swedish Christian evangelical organization discovered that out of some 619 asylum cases involving Christian converts from Afghanistan, an astonishing 70 percent were rejected because the authorities deemed their declaration of faith to be phony.
Unbelievably, the only reason these desperate individuals are being rejected is because they failed an unnecessarily difficult theological test.
“A theology student may have to take another test if he or she fails,” Jacob Rudenstrand, deputy general secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance, wrote at the Stream. “But if the asylum seeker fails the test, he or she will be deported to a country where he or she may be killed.”
Rudenstrand noted that the test contained questions which “not even experienced pastors have been able to answer.” Questions that regularly pop up in the test include: “Do you know what the Trinity is?” “What sacraments exist in Christianity?” “What other traditions apart from Protestantism exist in Christianity?” and “How many disciples did Jesus have?”
And with these difficult queries, the lives of Christian refugees hang in the balance.
“The Swedish Migration Agency seems to expect more knowledge about church life from asylum seekers than they know themselves,” wrote Rudenstrand. “When the chief legal officer, Fredrik Beijer, was asked how the agency can judge if a person is a Christian, he said, ‘It is almost a philosophical question. I can only say that that’s our job.’”
However, for believers who have left Islamic background and embraced Jesus, a return to their home country, is “more than a philosophical question,” Rudenstrand noted, “it’s a matter of life or death.”
Sadly, these asylum rejections are not isolated incidents across European nations. In March, the United Kingdom’s Home Office initially rejected the asylum application of an Iranian Christian because it believed that the faith was not “about peace, forgiveness and kindness,” as the applicant stated. In an astonishing move, the Home Office cited passages from Leviticus, Matthew, Exodus, and Revelation in response, insinuating that Christianity is an inherently violent religion.
Photo courtesy: Jonathan Brinkhorst/Unsplash
Will Maule is a British journalist who has spent the past several years working as a digital news editor. Since earning a degree in international relations and politics, Will has developed a particular interest in covering ethical issues, human rights and global religious persecution. Will's work has been featured in various outlets including The Spectator, Faithwire, CBN News, Spiked, The Federalist and Christian Headlines. Follow him on Twitter at @WillAMaule.