Swedish Christian Democrats propose measures to protect persescuted Christians

18-04-2023

Northern Europe

Lennart Nijenhuis, CNE.news

Swedish politician David Lega. Photo EPP Group in the European Parliament - M. Lahousse

Two Swedish politicians have called for the international protection of Christians and other religious minorities.

David Lega and Yusuf Aydin, Christian Democrats from Sweden’s KD party, have proposed “concrete measures” for the country that include backing EU and UN sanctions against states that oppress religious minorities. The Dagen report also says that the proposal includes the installation of a “special ambassador for religious freedom”.

Once Sweden has international support, Lega and Aydin have said that it should work with the UN in creating a resolution. The resolution would require governments in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia put protections in place for their Christian-based groups and other religious minorities.

Violations

The politicians also noted that the appointment of a religious freedom ambassador would be instrumental in drafting trade agreements and reporting human rights violations. Religious freedom ambassadors have already been set up in other states such as Canada and Denmark. According to Europaportal, Aydin and Lega have said that Sweden’s new government has “taken the lead” when it comes to addressing the needs of persecuted Christians. Now, it is a matter for the country to act on its convictions by garnering support from the UN and the EU.

“The persecution of Christian minorities is an issue that we Christian Democrats have long fought for should be given a greater role in Swedish foreign policy. One of the fundamental rights in the UN's declaration of human rights is precisely freedom of religion, but Christian minorities have too often been ignored in both the debate and political action,” Aydin and Lega said in a written statement to Europaportal.

Torture

According to Open Doors, an international human rights organisation, the 2023 outlook for Christian persecution has taken a dark turn. Many countries are now ranked as “very or extremely serious” when it comes to Christian persecution. At least 360 million Christians around the world continue to face violence or torture because of their faith. Christianity continues to be one of the most oppressed religions in the world, according to the organisation. The worse countries for Christian persecution are said to be North Korea, Somalia, and Yemen.

“In Iraq and Syria, we have witnessed how the Christian population and other ethnic and religious groups have experienced brutal persecution, not least from the terrorist sect IS. Christians have been forced to either convert or flee in order not to be murdered - when attempts were made to wipe out Christianity from the Middle East,” Aydin and Lega said to Europaportal.

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