A Swedish priest in the city of Gävle, has been accused of smuggling an Afghan migrant out of a detention facility in a suitcase, Breitbart News reports.
The 20-year-old migrant, who was being held pending deportation, disappeared on February 23 after he was visited by two women, one of whom was a priest from the Church of Sweden. The priest was carrying a large suitcase which she told authorities was to be used for an adult baptism ceremony.
Sweden’s Migration Board accused the priest of helping the migrant to escape. Its Director General, Mikael Ribbenvik wrote a letter to the Church of Sweden Archbishop Antje Jackelén concerning the matter, saying it had seriously damaged the agency’s trust in the Swedish church.
“A priest has abused our trust. In normal cases, you can’t bring a bag, but they got confidence and then this exemption was made. We’ve been tricked,” he said.
In February the Swedish news website Samhällsnytt made allegations that Camilla Ulén, a priest who serves the Värmdö parish in Stockholm, was the one carrying the suitcase and behind the smuggling of the migrant.
The news website identified the migrant fugitive as Abdullahi Ibrahimi, also known as Matin Ebra.
Samhällsnytt stated the migrant was an Afghan national who had been in Sweden since 2015 and that the Migration Board had serious doubts about the validity of his Christian conversion, which was the reason he was seeking asylum in Sweden.
A reporter from Samhällsnytt spoke to Ulén by phone and the priest dismissed the allegations that she helped the migrant escape.
The Swedish church has staunchly defended migrants and since the height of the migrant crisis began in 2015, they clashed with police in 2017 over migrant deportations in Skåne after a raid on a church-sponsored migrant camp. The church has gone out of its way to accommodate Muslims, in particular.
In October 2015, Stockholm archbishop Eva Brunne, the first openly lesbian bishop in the world, asked churches to remove crosses and allow for the creation of Muslim prayer spaces, according to Brietbart.
She later went on to say that she had more in common with Muslims than she did with conservative Christians.