Sweden: Who Do Christian Leaders Serve?

Christian leaders in Sweden have re-made Christianity into a religion that serves the political agenda of an establishment whose extreme liberal ideology lacks popular support. Left: Sweden’s Crown Princess, King, Archbishop Antje Jackelén, and the Queen pose after the archiepiscopal ordination of Jackelén on June 15, 2014 (Image source: Church of Sweden). Right: Influential Swedish Christian pastor Stefan Swärd co-wrote the book Jesus Was Also a Refugee, which advocates for a policy of no immigration restrictions; rich countries have to open their borders simply because they are rich countries.


  • In Swedish Christianity, Jesus has been reduced from being the son of God, to an activist fighting for multiculturalism and open borders. According to Archbishop Antje Jackelén of the Church of Sweden, Jesus has clear political positions on both migration and integration policies.
  • According to a senior official in the Church of Sweden, the call to wear a cross to show solidarity with persecuted Christians is “un-Christian”.
  • One might describe the Swedish Christianity as a new religion that worships multiculturalism and leftist values in general.
  • “The leadership of the Church of Sweden no longer wants to lead a Christian community; they want to lead a general ethical association for humanistic values.” — Ann Heberlein, doctor of theology and lecturer at Lund University.
  • One can have different interpretations of what Jesus did or what opinions he had, but we can all agree that he did not serve the Emperor or other earthly rulers. Too many Christian leaders in Sweden have become the servants of earthly rulers by conveying the message of the political establishment in Sweden.

Christianity is a universal religion, therefore Christianity in Sweden should have many similarities with Christianity in other countries.

If Christianity in Sweden begins to embrace a doctrine that has nothing to do with the universal world religion of Christianity, Sweden has then invented a new religion.

If you look at how Christianity has developed in Sweden today, it seems that this is what Sweden is about to get.

Stefan Swärd is an influential Christian pastor in Sweden with a background in the Evangelical Free Church in Sweden. In an op-ed from September 2014, Swärd describes Christianity the following way:

He continues,

“As Christians, we should work for a generous refugee policy. We will work so our churches and congregations become good examples of functioning integration, where people of different backgrounds can come together in a common life.”

To those concerned about the future of Sweden, where many new migrants might not be able to be assimilated or might not want to be assimilated, Swärd is regarded as misusing Christianity to argue for a liberal immigration policy.

In his recent book, Jesus Was Also a Refugee (Jesus var också flykting), Swärd and his co-author, Micael Grenholm, try to answer the following question: “What does God think about the global refugee crisis and Swedish migration policy?” The answer that the book gives is that there should be no immigration restrictions at all and that rich countries have to open their borders simply because they are rich countries.

According to the Church of Sweden, there are even clear political positions that God has on how immigrants should integrate into a new country. Archbishop Antje Jackelén, for instance, said in an interview from September 2014 that if one requires that immigrants assimilate into the country after their arrival, it is contrary to a Christian view of humanity. Is that statement based on the Bible, or is it based on the political agenda of the Swedish liberal establishment? Antje Jackelén leads the church in which 63% of Sweden’s population are members. Her message is that Jesus has clear political positions on both migration and integration policies.

The Church of Sweden has actively tried to influence Swedish politicians to support a liberal immigration policy. When the Swedish parliament was going to vote on restrictive migration policies in June 2016, a bishop of the Church of Sweden in the Diocese of Västerås pleaded with MPs to vote against the proposal. When the media asked him why he should interfere in political matters he responded:

“It is obvious to me. Otherwise I would not carry out my duties as bishop unless I committed myself to the vulnerable.”

There are lot of vulnerable people in Sweden. 225,000 retirees in Sweden lived in poverty in 2014, and all estimates shows that this number is going to grow rapidly. So why is the Church of Sweden obsessed with vulnerable people who come from other countries?

It seems to have become part of Church of Sweden’s mission — and Christianity in Sweden generally — to make the country implement a liberal immigration policy.

But is this really the mission of the Church and Christianity? What happened with spreading the Word and letting people know that Jesus is the truth, the way and the life?

It is not even certain that Christian leaders in Sweden care so much about Jesus and his opinions. After a French priest, Jacques Hamel, was murdered by ISIS sympathizers in Rouen, France, on July 26, 2016, an initiative started in Sweden where Swedish Christians took “selfies” with a cross to show solidarity with persecuted Christians. The initiative, called “Mitt kors”(“My cross”), was started by three priests from the Church of Sweden. The Church of Sweden, however, criticized it. Gunnar Sjöberg, Head of Communications for the Church of Sweden, wrote on his Facebook page:

“I really do not know about that. This thing about Christians suddenly wearing a cross as a sign for or against something. It is actually nothing new, but the call seems seditious and un-Christian in the conflicts that already exist.”

So now, according to a senior official in the Church of Sweden, the call to wear a cross to show solidarity with persecuted Christians is “un-Christian”.

Full article: Sweden: Who Do Christian Leaders Serve? (Gatestone Institute)

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