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Refugees Switch to Christianity to Avoid Deportation From Finland

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Night view of Helsinki, Finland

Night view of Helsinki, Finland. Photo: arunas68 (Pixabay).

When in Finland, do like the Finns do. This must be the logic of Muslim asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq who according to recent reports are converting to Christianity by the hundred. Many of the apostates suggest they are facing persecution as infidels, which is why returning to their home countries is not an option.

Although no exact figures on converts are available in Finland, estimates put the number of Muslims who abandoned their faith for the sake of Christianity at several hundred, Evangelical Lutheran church expert Marja-Liisa Laihia told Finnish national broadcaster Yle.

The demand among would-be Christians is so high that additional religious teaching and confirmation schooling for the converts had to be established. In the town of Imatra in eastern Finland, some 20 young Afghans are currently enrolled in pre-confirmation education. Copies of the New Testament are available in Dari, whereas the teaching itself is in English. However, an interpreter is always available via Skype.

The need for extra religious education arose directly after the establishment of the reception center in Imatra a year ago, as asylum seekers showed a keen interest in the Lutheran faith.

Many of the soon-to-become Christians cited a profound disillusionment with Islam as the main reason behind their conversion. Others ventured that conversion may facilitate the transition into Finnish culture and help the newcomers adapt to the new lifestyle.

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Sputnik International

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