Some say that when Sweden opened its doors to refugees and immigrants, we imported problems that in the end will lead to the destruction of Sweden as a nation, and that we now see an increase of crime, rape, Islam, etc. I am not trying to hide the various problems of immigration, but I want to tell you another side of the story.
I am a Swedish Pentecostal Pastor, and since three years back, I have been sitting in countless meetings with refugees from mostly Afghanistan and Iran. They all share a common story. When they lived in their home country, they lived under darkness, threat and oppression. Their view of religion was about hate, death and fear. They could not remain in this hopeless situation and fled their country and came to Europe.
When they first met Christians they were very surprised by the compassion and love they met. When the authorities in Greece couldn’t provide them with shelter and food due to the economic problems, it was the Christians who helped them with this.
In their home countries they had been told prejudices about Christians from their regimes. But now when they met Christians in real life for the first time, they realized they had been lied to. Christians were not horrible persons that hated them.
When they later came to Sweden they looked for a Church to meet more people like the compassionate Christian Greeks. Some of them showed up in my Church in Timrå. They wanted to know how to become a Christian. They wanted this love, freedom and inner peace that they understood God could give them in Jesus.
I have now led countless Afghans and Iranians to Christ and baptized many of them. Even if their practical problems still exist, they now have met Jesus and for the first time in their life experienced forgiveness and inner peace. They do not wish to import the oppression they fled from, but instead share the love of Christ with other Afghans and Iranians. If they are sent back to their home country they risk their lives as converts. They know they may be killed, but cannot hide the fact that they now are followers of Jesus.
Yes, refugees may do criminal acts in Sweden, just as native Swedes also may do criminal acts. But the other side of the story is that a lot of people have lived under oppression in other countries, flee this and try to find freedom. We Western Christians have a responsibility to welcome all refugees who flee from this with open arms, show love, share the Gospel and baptize all who believe!
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