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Les demandeurs d’asile

The war in Syria and political disturbances in Iraq caused an influx of asylum seekers to Finland in 2015. According to the Finnish Immigration Service, 32.476 people came to Finland in 2015 (as compared to 5.657 in 2016 or 3.651 in 2014). This caused a lot of public outcry and worry ; some citizens demanded a stricter border control, and the turning back of asylum seekers. The hardening of people´s attitudes could be seen in newspaper articles and in social media. The Church responded by reminding that the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Finland is not meant for Finnish people only (Archbishop Mäkinen), but intends to help and support every person regardless of their religion or nationality. Most bishops and priests took the same attitude. As a protest, some Finns withdrew from the Church. Taking a positive stand on every person´s human rights has also resulted in hate speech and hate mail directed at some high profile clergymen and –women e.g. the bishop of Helsinki, Irja Askola. There has been some debate over whether the Church and the government take different views in this case. The bishops and the Minister of the Interior Paula Risikko met on November 2016 to discuss mutual worries, and came to an understanding about the need to secure the rights and well-being of everybody in Finland.

30 juin 2017