Sweden’s Migration Board has landed in hot water for its habit of testing religious asylum seekers’ knowledge of Christianity by way of quizzes.
Asylum seekers who converted to Christianity and were seeking asylum due to religious persecution they were facing in their home countries have been exposed to tricky quizzes on aspects of the Christian faith, Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported. According to SVT, the religious quizzes involve such technicalities the number of parts to the New Testament or the difference between various branches of Christianity, such as Orthodoxy and Protestantism.
The news of the religious quizzes plunged Swedish social media into a shock, with many users claiming the practice to be “bizarre” and incongruous with Sweden’s profile as a secular country.
Nevertheless, the Migration Board defended its religious interviews, claiming them to be only a part of the overall assessment routine. By their own admission, the Swedish immigration officials also took into consideration applicants’ explanation why they had converted to Christianity in the first place and how they exercised their faith. According to Migration Board Deputy Legal Director Carl Bexelius, it was a “reasonable demand” to expect “some knowledge of the Bible” from an applicant.
In late 2016, Sweden was announced to become the first European nation to launch the app OCFEP (“One Change for Every Person”) in a bid to spread the Gospel knowledge to “previously unreached” or “underreached” groups, such as refugees, Dagen reported.
In February, Dagen reported that at least 565 people have converted to Christianity via the Church of Sweden since 2013.