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Church officials launch petition for asylum seekers

Published onsdag 14 december 2016 kl 09.48
The Arch Bishop
Arch Bishop Antje Jackelén with her husband Heinz (left) during Pope Francis's visit to Sweden. Credit: Björn Lindgren/TT

The Christian Council of Sweden has launched a petition calling on the government to ease up the reception of asylum seekers.

Church leaders from the Christian Council are putting three demands to the government: to give children and young people the right to safety and faith in the future, to give all refugees in Sweden the right to spend time with their family, and to remove all practical obstacles for family reunification.

Archbishop Antje Jackelén of the Church of Sweden said they wanted to go back to the way things were before the temporary Swedish asylum law came into place. But the biggest problem, she said, was the limited asylum reception in the rest of Europe.

"There need to be better opportunities to apply pressure in Europe," Jackelén told Swedish Radio.

Thirteen leaders from the four parts of the Christian Council of Sweden - the  Lutheran Church of Sweden, the Catholic Church, the Orthodox churches and a collection of other protestant churches - have signed the so-called Christmas Appeal (Juluppropet). The petition will carry on until January 31.

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