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Church with links to the regime in Eritrea is receiving state aid in Sweden


An activity aimed at newly arrived refugee jungles from Eritrea receives state support – although there are known connections between the church operating the business and the totalitarian regime in Eritrea. It reveals the P1 program Kaliber today.

The refugee activity is run within the framework of an orthodox church, and has been funded by the Authority for Support for Religious Organizations, SST.

Max Stockman, SST’s administrator, confirms that he knew the connections.

”What we know and can confirm is that there are relations between the embassy here and representatives of the church we are talking about.

– You can have undemocratic minded people in the lead. The important thing is that society as such is positive and that the messages you are looking for are fundamentally positive democratically.

The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church in Sweden has grown and formed parishes in several places in Sweden with the help of state-building support.

The church has also received 300,000 SEK in state aid to integrate newly arrived eritreans in Swedish society. But exile Titans who oppose the country’s dictator warn that the Church, in fact, acts as an extended arm to the regime. Nasser Nuru is one of them.

– There are broken youngsters coming. You throw them into their hands. With an approval and give them a grant. We should be ashamed. I, like Sweden, are ashamed, he says.

The church thus receives taxation for the integration of refugees. At the same time, sources of good insight into Kaliber tell about how the church is used by the regime for controlling eritreans in Sweden and for spreading information and propaganda.

The sources also tell that regime lovers use the church to spy on new arrivals, and there are representatives of the Church that openly support the regime. Here’s how one of them tells us about the country’s president and dictator:

”Yes, for me, he is a good president, you know why he fought and Eritrea was free from colonialism.

The state refugee support funds may only be paid to ”activities that respect the ideas of democracy”. Max Stockman at the Church Support Agency, SST, who granted church contributions, says that you can review this.

”Now that I heard these recordings and that people – maybe I think in a more clear way – take a stand for the regime in Eritrea, there is reason to look at this again,” said Max Stockman.

The Eritrean embassy denies that they have influence over the church. Aman Russom, who is responsible for church refugee activities, also denies that the church is controlled by the regime, although he believes there is a quote of ”mutual respect with the Eritrean state”.

”We are not politically active. We do not do any activities that the embassy guides us. We do not. And we have no communication with the embassy that would indicate that they have an interest in us either, ”said Aman Russom. 

By: SverigeSRadio



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