ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, January 26   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Finland
 

Finnish Protestant priests: let us get involved in the asylum process

“We make it clear to asylum seekers who want to convert that furthering their application is not a reason to become a Christian”, a pastor says.

SOURCES Uutiset AUTHOR Evangelical Focus HELSINKI 11 SEPTEMBER 2017 18:42 h GMT+1
The cathedral of Helsinki.

More than 400 Finnish priests, mostly Lutheran, have signed a petition requesting that the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) make use of the clergy’s knowledge in dealing with asylum seekers who convert to Christianity.



"The parishes have real expertise with people who have converted to Christianity from Islam or another religion", Jouni Lehikoinen, vicar at St Michael’s parish in Turku, says.



The authorities at Migri only conduct one interview when determining an applicant's religion.



The petition will be delivered to Interior Minister Paula Risikko on 20 September.



 



“FURTHERING AN APPLICATION IS NOT A REASON TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN”



According to Lehikoinen, in some Islamic countries people who have converted to Christianity in Finland may face persecution.



He says the church makes efforts to avoid helping asylum seekers convert to Christianity only to advance their asylum applications.



"We make it clear to asylum seekers who want to convert that furthering their application is not a reason to become a Christian", Lehikoinen says.



 



MUSLIMS TURN INTO CHRISTIANITY



The Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is the national historic church in the country, has previously estimated that hundreds of asylum seekers have converted to Christianity since arriving in Finland.



Some twenty young Afghani men are currently enrolled in pre-confirmation teaching at the Tainionkoski parish centre in Imatra, Eastern Finland, where they have copies of the New Testament in the Dari language at their disposal.



 



A religious teaching class in the Evangelical Lutheran church in Imatra. / Kari Kosonen/Yle.



The classes are in English, with a Dari interpreter on hand via Skype.



"Asylum seekers began attending our services so we reacted by starting up the lessons", says pastor Vesa Julin.



 



DISILLUSIONMENT WITH ISLAM



Many of the new converts cite a dissatisfaction or disillusionment with Islam as the reason behind their conversion. All of them are essentially in exile from their homes countries and have been through a harrowing asylum process.



"I haven't been in contact with my family in Afghanistan for a very long time. If they find out I've converted, it would mean trouble for me", Golamir Hossaini points out.



 



NOT GOING BACK HOME



In order to be accepted into the Evangelical Lutheran Church, converts must attend and pass the religious training phase, undergo the confirmation ceremony and be in regular contact with the parish for three months.



According to Pastor Julin, “the process represents a significant shift in faith and values”.



Many of those who have renounced Islam say they are treated as infidels in their home countries, and all of them say they do not believe they will ever return to Afghanistan.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Finnish Protestant priests: let us get involved in the asylum process
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

 
Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election Christian candidacies in Taiwan increased by 40% in 2020 election

Many hope their effort will inspire a new generation of political representatives with a strong Christian faith. “God has a long-term plan”.

 
Why does the Roman Catholic Church mandate that priests remain celibate? Why does the Roman Catholic Church mandate that priests remain celibate?

“There is no biblical reason for the imposition of celibacy as the status of pastors or priests”, says Vatican expert and evangelical theologian Leonardo De Chirico.

 
Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

 
Families forced to leave homes in Chiapas Families forced to leave homes in Chiapas

Requests for government intervention were ignored, and nearby churches are providing the displaced believers with emergency supplies and lodging.

 
‘There’s a dragon in my nativity’ ‘There’s a dragon in my nativity’

“At this nativity, arose another player. The baby wrapped in swaddling cloths — He was a dragon slayer”. A Christmas story by Speak Life.

 
World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights

The World Evangelical Alliance's General Assembly 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia, brought together 800 evangelicals from 92 countries to pray, worship and cast vision for the new decade of holistic discipleship.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.