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Bishop manhandled by Sweden Democrats

TT/The Local · 5 Jul 2010, 16:02

Published: 05 Jul 2010 16:02 GMT+02:00

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Koskinen, who is bishop for the diocese of Visby, was angered at the demonstration, which had been given police authorization, in front of the Church of Sweden's own tent at the annual political week on the Baltic Sea island.

"The Sweden Democrats, which represent an entirely different message from the Church of Sweden stand two metres in front of our tent so that we do not have the possibility to deliver our message. They have giant speakers so that the public might believe that it is we who stand for this xenophobic message, when in fact the opposite is true," Koskinen told news agency TT immediately after the incident.

Koskinen felt compelled to act just as SD party secretary Björn Söder had opened a debate with the Christian Democrat Rolf Tufvesson concerning culture and integration. Koskinen approached Söder, at which point several Sweden Democrats muscled the 69-year-old pastor away.

Security service police were swiftly on the scene and informed Koskinen that the party had in fact been granted permission to hold its meeting at the location. The bishop expressed surprise at the news.

"This undermines our democratic rights. It feels very strange that they are given more rights that the Church of Sweden," Lennart Koskinen said.

Sweden Democrat Björn Söder in return complained about Koskinen's incursion on the meeting.

"We have a licence to stand here. I think that is regrettable that one of the church's foremost representatives shows such poor judgement and is unable to respect the equal rights of all people to forward their opinions," Söder said to news agency TT.

Story continues below…

Söder denied that the choice of location was taken as a direct provocation to the Church of Sweden.

"No, no. This is the location, as well as Donner Square, which has been allocated for political speeches, if you are not actually in Almedalen, where perhaps we will be next year," said Söder.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:50 July 5, 2010 by voiceofreason
I have no idea what both parties agree or disagree about but I sense some provocation in the air.

For the record, the Jews, the Romans, the Roman Catholic Church, the Jihadists, and the Communist could not stop the Gospel, neither can the Moderate\Liberal\Anarchist\Satanist alliance succeed.

Upon this rock I will build my Church said Jesus, and the gates of Hell will never be able to prevail against it.
19:08 July 5, 2010 by RobinHood
The Sweden Democrats are now metaphorically and literally a party of bishop bashers.
20:00 July 5, 2010 by boby
Dear Bishop,

The Christians in Sweden are a diminishing bread.

If you are to maintain your position, I would suggest that you start study the holy Koran, so you could one day become an Imam when Sweden is a Muslim republic, Inshaala!
21:17 July 5, 2010 by hilt_m
Well thank you boby for pulling this back down into the racial gutter. Seriously, why?
21:28 July 5, 2010 by Nachos
The Sweden Democrats have been physically attacked by young Muslim and leftist groups SEVERAL TIMES over the last 6 months (I could give sources) and The Local chooses NOT to print that. However, they choose to print this article making it look like SD bullied a bishop. Incredible. The Local doesn't even try to give the impression that it is an impartial news source. What a joke.
21:29 July 5, 2010 by Kevin Harris
@ Boby

If you don't have an opinion about this story, don't post on it.
21:59 July 5, 2010 by Taketh
Politics = Poli-tics= many ticks. @hilt_m - you meant religious rather than racial. Boby, you might be right on the issue of christians diminishing in sweden and the rest of the world, but it's out of topic. I know you're propagating your faith but there are ways and places to do it. Rules of Dawah it's called.

SD were clearly out of line. They intentionally chose that spot to tick off the Church of Sweden. Politicians are the same everywhere.
22:18 July 5, 2010 by Jes
@ Body is either a bad cemedian or an accomplished fool . Any one who has an ounce of brain already knows that S.Democtrats are out to lock Islam/ muslims out of Sweden . An intelligent muslim should be commending - not mocking , this Bishop for standing up against this racist gang.

That said , its probable that @ boby is actually an anti-islam racist . One can smell the stinkers even on space
23:09 July 5, 2010 by shame, shame
i am thinking: far-right thugs attacked by far-left thugs - not news; Christian bishop attacked by far-right thugs - news. I am presuming that TL made the same judgement.
07:07 July 6, 2010 by waffen
"Forcibly removing" a Bishop?

This is manhandling, nothing less.

What has Sweden come to in 2010 to allow this behaviour?

Even Nazi Germany had more restraint.
08:30 July 6, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Er no Waffen. The Nazi's persecuted, tortured and murdered many priests, especially (but not exclusively) Catholic ones.
08:44 July 6, 2010 by sebwojo
@boby no normal human being can denaunce his faith and become a muslem.just tell me to do what? so that i can through booms at fellow human beings?so that i can make make my wife and my little girls put on long black gowns? boby tell me two people who have converted to islam and i will tell ten muslems who have turned to xyianity.in xtianty we teach love so our brother we love you to
10:54 July 6, 2010 by Nachos
If you guys want to see a video of this "mandandling" (LOL) please go to youtube and type in, "Biskop försökte stoppa SD-debatt".

Why won't The Local show this video? Hmmmm.
11:10 July 6, 2010 by Nemesis
I have watched the video.

They did not even touch him.

I suggest the journalist checks the libel laws in Sweden in case he is sued.
18:03 July 7, 2010 by farnoxo

You silly muppet...."The Christians in Sweden are a diminishing bread. " I am "loaf" to make too many poor puns about this one! Maybe they are a "dimishing bread" because they refuse to "rise" to inane comments like yours. Maybe they simply don't "knead" to become a repressive, sexist and bigotted society.

Oh, this is such fun...I could go on for ever!
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