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Secular Sweden Sees No Problem in Sending Christian Converts Back to Iran?

(UPDATED) Sweden grants asylum to one Iranian convert, but others say their asylum applications are denied because judges don't understand their plight.

Update (June 11): The Christian Broadcasting Network reports that Sweden has granted permanent residency to one Iranian Christian, Reza Jabbari, who previously was ordered to return to his home country–where he would face "possible prison and torture" for converting from Islam.


Sweden may be one of the most secular countries in Europe, but it still is a safer haven for immigrant converts to Christianity than their home countries in the Middle East.

Yet Charisma News reports that Sweden is denying religious refugee status to Iranian Christians, threatening to extradite them. Applicants complain that secular immigration judges don't understand the risks they face back home in Iran as converts.

Swedish newspaper Varlden idagnoted the Charisma report, and previously has reported on the situation for Iranian Christians in Sweden. Earlier this year, the site covered the case of one woman whom the Swedish Immigration Service refused to believe was a Christian, even after she was baptized as such in Sweden. Following protests, however, Sweden canceled the young woman's deportation in February.

CT previously has reported on the difficulties of Iraqi Christians searching for safe haven in Europe, as well as on the "surprising" interest in Christianity among Iranian refugees in eastern Germany. In 2011, CT also noted when Lutheran bishops in Sweden controversially advised priests not to baptize asylum seekers who had converted to Christianity.

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