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These are the questions Sweden asks asylum seekers to see if they're 'real' Christians

These are the questions Sweden asks asylum seekers to see if they're 'real' Christians

What does Matthew 10:34 say? Which things are forbidden according to Christianity? Can you describe the sacraments? 

If these questions seem hard – even unanswerable – to you, you're lucky not to be a Christian asylum seeker in Sweden. 

Since many years back, the Swedish Migration Board tries to differentiate between "real" converts from Islam to Christianity that risk persecution in their countries of origin, and "fake" ones who only seek a cheap way to gain asylum, by asking various questions. 

Sweden being a very secular country, most officials who come up with these questions are not Christians themselves. Furthermore, they don't have much knowledge about Christianity – even though they might think so themselves.

Me and some friends decided to conduct an experiment. We designed a test called "Am I a Christian" based on real questions the Swedish migration board had been asking converts the last couple of years. 

Apart from the three mentioned above, the test included questions like "How many parts does the New Testament have?", "What's the difference between the Protestant church and the Orthodox church" as well as the inflammatory "What are your thoughts on the New Testament being very anti-women?"

The test went viral. Pastors, priests, bishops, theologians, celebrities... all kinds of people answered the questions and shared their results on social media. Within four days, over 100,000 people had participated. Only 300 of them scored more than 60 % correct answers. 

"Am I a Christian" sparked a huge debate. Most people agree that the questions converts face are too hard and do not really say anything about whether someone's faith is genuine or not. Several questions display a secular bias and an ignorance of what true Christian faith is about.

As the Swedish Council of Churches has pointed out, priests and pastors have far better competence to recognize genuine Christian faith. Thus, their testimonies should weigh heavy in these types of investigations.

The Migration Board themselves gave contradictory replies. Their representatives both defended the usage of these types of questions, and on the very same day denied that they are being used at all.

During the last couple of weeks, many more examples of ridiculous questions have been unearthed. In December 2018, a convert was labeled as disingenuous because he could not account for what All Saints Eve was about. Earlier, another convert was told he does not need to evangelize because "the Church of Sweden does not do missions". 

Even more absurd, one convert was asked to recite the Lord's prayer. His interpreter mistranslated one line to "deliver us from traffic accidents", which made the Migration Board condemn the convert to deportation since him "only praying for protection against traffic accidents" was treated with suspicion.

This is a full-blown catastrophe. Genuine Christians are being deported to countries where Christians are persecuted simply because Swedish government officials are incompetent and hostile towards Christianity.

Micael Grenholm is the editor-in-chief for Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice and pastor of Mosaik Church in Uppsala, Sweden.

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