They Are Persecuted Again — This Time in Europe

  • Written by:

Nuri Kino
Independent investigative multi-award-winning reporter, filmmaker, author, Middle East and human rights analyst
“I’m trying to call you, pick up the phone. It’s about a Christian family who is being harassed in a refugee camp. Do you know of anybody that I can contact regarding a house? Mother and two children.” This text message came from the priest Håkan Sandvik.

I was in Lebanon at the time, helping a local organization called Syriac League, open a new health care centre for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Many of the refugees that the organization has registered are Christians who don’t dare stay at the refugee camps and therefore don’t have the same access to the same health care possibilities. “Eleven doctors, of which nine are refugees themselves, are instead going to help them at the health care centre we are opening up in Beirut, where everyone, regardless of religion, is going to be able to search for medical help. There are many Islamists in the refugee camps and the Christians don’t dare to go there,” said Habib Afram from the Syriac League.

On the flight back to Sweden, I read the emails from the international Christian organization Open Doors. They have done a survey on German accommodations for asylum seekers. They want to know if converts and other Christians are feeling persecuted by Muslims in the accommodations. The results confirm what many people in Sweden have been warning about. In the report “Violence Against Christian Refugees in German Accommodations for Asylum Seekers” which was published May 13th, 231 Christian asylum seekers were interviewed.

Seventy-five percent of the respondents said that they had repeatedly suffered from persecution from other asylum seekers, but also from guards at the accommodations. Of the 231 individuals interviewed, 73 have received death threats directed at them or their families, who often are left back in their home countries. Ninety-six people have been subjected to insults and 86 people have been injured physically.

Over several months, I have published numerous articles regarding this topic. Two days before Open Doors released their report, the Swedish parliament chose to vote against the recognition of the genocide on Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans, other Christians, Yezidis, other non-Muslims and also on moderate Muslims.

Let me summarize: Christians are being slaughtered because of their faith in Syria and Iraq. Those who are fleeing to neighboring countries can’t stay in the refugee camps, because they are being persecuted there too. If they make it to Sweden and Germany, they risk being persecuted again, this time in the asylum centers of these various countries. But the Swedish parties; The Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party, the Swedish Green Party, the Left Party and the Moderate Party (except for three Parliamentarians, Hanif Bali, Finn Bengtsson and Niklas Wykman), refused to vote for the recognition of an ongoing genocide (meanwhile many, both individuals and parties still label it as ongoing). While the Swedish Government and the Migration Agency avoid the issue of persecution of the genocide victims in asylum accommodations, one thing is clear: This is not going to look good in the history books.