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Church of Sweden Archbishop Accused of Cozying Up to Radical Islamists by Robert Semonsen

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Church of Sweden Archbishop Accused of Cozying Up to Radical Islamists

An archbishop in the Church of Sweden, an Evangelical Lutheran church well-known for its left-liberal orientation—and for its close ties to the ruling Social Democratic Party—has been sharply criticized for cozying up to organizations with documented links to radical Islamists.

Antje Jackelén, a Protestant prelate who’s been accused of using her high-ranking position within the Church of Sweden to promote mass migration from the Islamic world, is facing criticism for inviting so-called ‘aid organizations’ with links to radical Islamist groups to participate in an interfaith meeting, the Swedish news outlet Samnytt reports.

The interfaith meeting, called “A Week of Neighbors,” is set to begin on Sunday and will feature a variety of lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and film screenings centered around the promotion of non-Western migration into Sweden and Europe, which Jackelén and others organizers of the conference view as an ‘expression of Christian humanity.’

The conference, however, has drawn rebuke from several high-profile Swedish figures, including the writer Johan Westerholm, who has brought attention to the presence of so-called ‘aid organizations’ like Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, both of which he says are “well-known radical organizations that are part of the Muslim Brotherhood network.” Another invitee, the Muslim Cultural Heritage Center—a London mosque that bills itself as a charity—is known to have been the home mosque of the Islamic State executioner “Jihadi John,” according to Westerholm.

The list of attendees with ties to radical Islamism doesn’t end there, however. Also featured at the conference, representing Muslim Aid Sweden, will be Mehmet Kaplan, the former Minister of Housing and IT who was forced to resign in 2016 after it was revealed that he maintained close links to militant Islamist groups, including the Gray Wolves and  Milli Görus.

For its part, the Church of Sweden, which claims to be politically neutral despite having well-established links to the country’s political Left, rejects the existence of links between the invited organizations and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, in spite of evidence that suggests otherwise.

When contacted by the Christian newspaper Världen Idag—and asked how they went about choosing guests, and in what way is the gospel promoted by giving space to representatives of radical Islam—the Church of Sweden refused to comment, instead referring them to a statement on their website which reads:

“We are aware that there are debaters and scholars who claim that there are links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Other researchers have concluded that there are no such formal links. Our position is that as long as these organizations want to cooperate with us in contexts where we have clear common goals, we welcome that cooperation.”

The Church of Sweden’s penchant for far-Left politics is well-documented and spans a variety of distinct issues. Last summer, a female priest in the church was found guilty of smuggling a detained asylum seeker out of a migration center by hiding him in a suitcase. Forcing priests to perform same-sex marriages is also a hotly contested issue in the church, with nearly half of the church voting in favor of the mandate in internal elections last year.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.

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