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Man with a priest's collar interviewed in front of a camera.
Rangar Persenius is the Bishop of Uppsala Diocese. Credit: Frank Radosevich/Sveriges Radio

Bishop: Sweden Democrat conflict lifted church vote turn-out

Ragnar Persenius: Both those in favour of them have voted and those resisting their plans have voted
3:31 min

The Bishop of Uppsala believes the high turn-out in the Church elections is partly due to the controversial Sweden Democrats' high profile campaign in the election.

Speaking to media at a press conference on Monday morning, the Bishop of Uppsala, Ragnar Persenius, put the unusually high turn-out in the Church elections down to several things. He said there had been better communication and more media attention in the run-up to the election.

Another reason for the interest is the conflict around the Sweden Democrats' campaign in this election. The anti-immigration party increased their election budget of approximately 100,000 SEK in 2013 to over 1 million SEK this year, which - according to the daily Dagens Nyheter - is the biggest election budget of all parties in parliament.

"They want to transform the Church of Sweden into a more 'Swedish' church, and also try to force the church to not to be so active in the debate in society. That has resulted both in those who are in favour of them have voted, but also those resisting that transformation of the church," said Bishop Ragnar Persenius.

To listen to the full interview, click on the link above.

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