MALMO, Sweden — The Swedish migration agency is handing out pop quizzes on the Bible to make sure migrants aren’t converting to Christianity to receive asylum.
Risk of persecution because of one’s religious faith can boost a person’s chances of gaining asylum. The Swedish migration agency is making unannounced visits to asylum seekers to quiz them on the Bible and make sure their conversions are genuine.
“How many books are in the New Testament?” and “What is the difference between Orthodox and Protestant churches?” are examples of questions converts have to answer.
Immigration lawyers have criticized the measure, but the agency defends the questions as knowledge true Christians should know.
“There are reasonable demands that the [asylum] applicant should have certain knowledge based on what they’ve told us and how they’ve gained knowledge of the Bible,” Carl Bexelius of the Swedish migration agency told state broadcaster SVT in an article published Saturday. “This knowledge should be there naturally, and it shouldn’t be something they need to read up on.”
Migration attorneys are now urging converts to study up on the Bible so they can pass the tests.
“I think it’s horrible,” immigration lawyer Serpil Güngör told SVT. “I have interrupted the person asking the questions several times because the questions aren’t relevant and far too complex.”
Hundreds of migrants converted to Christianity in Germany last year.
Pastor Albert Babajan, who converted 196 Muslims in mass baptisms in the city of Hamburg, frequently denies people when he suspects ulterior motives.
“If I have the impression that someone doesn’t believe it from the heart, then I won’t baptize him,” Babajan told German magazine Stern in May 2016.