Ethnic minorities bear the brunt of Sweden’s coronavirus deathsEthnic minorities bear the brunt of Sweden’s coronavirus deaths

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Louise Callaghan, Sweden
Places of worship that were not closed have seen low attendances as Assyrian and Syriac communities are hit by the virus
The sound of chanting filled the air as the Orthodox priest, clad in heavy ceremonial robes, led another round of funeral rites to an almost empty church. A picture of the deceased, a dapper grey-haired man in a suit, stood near the altar.

Usually, the pews at St Petrus church near Stockholm would have been crammed with hundreds of mourners from across Sweden’s Syriac Orthodox community. Instead, they were watching at home on their laptops and phones as the funeral was broadcast on Facebook.

The church had been closed in an attempt to slow the wave of infections that have devastated this close-knit community in the past few weeks. Now, only a handful of family can attend the funerals that have become all too common.

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