• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Church threatened over pro-Muslim service

TT/The Local · 9 Feb 2015, 15:05

Published: 09 Feb 2015 15:05 GMT+01:00

Last week the city's St Petri Church announced that it would be holding a service in solidarity with the Muslim community and those from other religions during the Pegida demonstration, which will take place on the Stortorget square on Monday evening. 

“During the manifestation, the Swedish Church is going to hold a service where we express joy for our city and our Muslim friends,” Malmö parish vicar Anders Ekhem told The Local on Friday.

“There is strong support for diverse cultures in Malmö and it is important that the church is there to support that.”

But on Monday the Church said it had received death threats as a result of its decision.

“Since we went public about celebrating this church service we have received many reactions. Many positive, but also many who have criticized us. And in this critique there are more-or-less clear threats,” Anders Ekhem, parson in the Swedish Church in Malmö, told Sydsvenskan.

The demonstration was organized through a Facebook group and according to Dagens ETC, consists of sympathizers of both the Sweden Democrats, the Swedish Nazi Party, and the newspaper Dispatch International. 

One of the members of the group wrote: “We have a crusade – de-islamize Sweden and by wearing crosses in public we can show that we are many."

Although it is unclear how many people will attend, former gallery owner Henrik Rönnquist, who is behind Monday's march, told local newspaper Sydsvenskan: "We expect at least 200 people to attend, but maybe as many as a couple of thousand."

A counter-demonstration has also been planned through the Facebook page entitled “Stop the hate march – Pegida are not welcome in Malmö”, with thousands saying they will attend.

“Apparently there is considerable interest. Several thousand have said that they will come,” said Maja Redoubt, the organizer of No Pegida Sweden. 

Pegida marches – which have voiced anger against Islam and “criminal asylum seekers” – began in Germany with a few hundred supporters when the owner of public relations firm Lutz Bachmann started a Facebook group in Dresden in October.

They have grown steadily since then, drawing a record 25,000 people on January 12th just after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.

But Swedish anti-racism magazine Expo reporter Daniel Vergare told news agency TT he did not think the organization would have a future in Sweden. 

"I don't think Pegida as such will become a large movement in Sweden. But I still think you should always worry when a group takes its mistrust of minorities to the street. Partly because it galvanizes the tension and partly because it points the finger at minorities," he said.

Story continues below…

SEE ALSO: The rise and spread of Pegida

The German branch’s 19-point manifesto released in December 2014 calls for stricter immigration and asylum laws as well as making integration part of the constitution. It also calls for the outright rejection of any immigrant, refugee or asylum seeker with a criminal background.

But their response in Scandinavia, with marches held in Denmark as well as Norway, has thus far been lukewarm. Only 70 people showed up to a rally held in Norway earlier this year, with the group far outnumbered my counter-demonstrators.

Earlier this year the movement suffered a blow when its German founder Lutz Bachmann resigned his leadership following widespread outrage over Facebook photos of him in an Adolf Hitler costume. 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
Sweden opposition cools talk of 'Swexit' poll
Anna Kinberg Batra, of the largest opposition party, the Moderates. Photo: TT

"This is a sad day for the British and for Europe."

Brexit vote
Swedish PM swats aside calls for EU renegotiation
"Sweden will now lose an important partner in the EU," Löfven said. Photo: TT

Left Party calls "totally irresponsible."

Brexit vote
'Devastated' - Brits in Sweden shocked by Brexit vote

Expat Brits in Sweden have reacted with shock, despair and uncertainty to the result of the EU referendum in the UK which was won 52-48 by the Leave campaign.

Brexit vote
'A morning of sorrow': Sweden reacts to Brexit vote
Photo: TT

The former Swedish EU minister, Birgitta Ohlsson declared that it was 'a morning of sorrow', after British voters opted to leave the European Union on Thursday.

The Local Recipes
How to make Karin's delicious Midsummer cake
Karin's cake. Photo: swedishfood.com

"We are very tolerant of other cultures except when it comes to strawberries."

Sweden named the world's 'most reputable' country
The flag of the world's most reputable country – at least according to one report. Photo: Fredrik Sanberg/TT

Sweden has been ranked as the most reputable country in the world by a new report. Find out why.

Why most students don't finish Swedish for Immigrants
More students are taking Swedish for Immigrants classes, but completion rates are low. Photo: Pontus Lundahl

Only four in ten students finished their courses at Sweden's state-funded Swedish for Immigrants classes in 2015, according to new statistics from a national agency.

Swedish police nab drunk-driving lawnmower man
Lawnmowers: dangerous, in the wrong hands. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

A man in southern Sweden is at risk of having his licence revoked after drunkenly driving a motorized lawnmower.

Sweden has EU's second highest food prices
A shopper prepares for the inevitable fleecing. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

If your loaf of bread seems ridiculously expensive that’s because it is.

Here's how much alcohol Swedes drink on Midsummer
Systembolaget is a busy place around Midsummer. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedes are known for letting loose on Midsummer, but the most recent figures from the country's state-run alcohol monopoly may surprise you.

Sponsored Article
How to find student housing in Malmö: 5 tips
Culture
How do Swedes celebrate Midsummer?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden gives artists the space to follow their dreams'
Culture
Coming soon: Sweden’s smelly fermented fish
National
Assange lawyer: Sweden should recognize UN opinion
Blog updates

17 June

Queen’s Birthday Stockholm 2016: 9th June. 90th Birthday. 900 Guests! (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"What do you do when you read that the Queen’s 90th Birthday in London will be…" READ »

 

10 June

i lördags, på lördag – time phrases for present, past and future (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! Swedish time phrases can be difficult to master. It takes a lot of practice to…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Private
The Local Voices
Why is this Syrian dentist who hugs like a Swede worried about undies?
Sponsored Article
The man behind Sweden's biggest music festival
Swedish nationalist 'shot and ate' lion and giraffe
Analysis & Opinion
'Sweden's residency revamp is harmful and inhumane'
Photo: The Local
The Local Voices
UNHCR boss: 'It's hard to start your life without your family'
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Politics
VIDEO: Brits in Europe say why UK should stay
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Photo: Marko Risović
The Local Voices
World Refugee Day: Searching for safety in Europe - in pictures
National
Is Swedish nationalists’ foreign food ban bananas?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Söråker
Sponsored Article
Malmö: Home to the best food in Sweden?
International
Poll shows huge support for EU in Sweden
The Local Voices
How a Syrian scuba diver mobilized Sweden's biggest asylum centre
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Sport
Zlatan: 'If we'd been fighting for real, he'd be in hospital'
Sponsored Article
VIDEO: Why Malmö is the world's 6th best city for biking
The Local Voices
Orlando reflections: Is it possible to be gay and Muslim?
Sponsored Article
5 reasons you should try dating with The Inner Circle
Sweden to go ahead with migrant age tests
Sponsored Article
US expats: Have you met your tax deadlines?
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th-19th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm school celebrates Nepal Project success
National
Will you be hit by changes to Sweden's residency laws?
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
The Local Voices
Why an Iraqi who won Swedish lottery won't quit his restaurant job
Gallery
People-watching: Midweek revellers
National
Why this pizzeria is giving elderly Swedes free meatballs
3,310
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se