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Middle East Christians living in Sweden: “We live this experience in gratitude”

A refugee woman walks through the caravan park in Frankfurt, Germany, Feb. 12. (CNS photo/Alexander Heinl, EPA) See GERMANY-CHRISTIAN-REFUGEES March 10, 2016.
A refugee woman walks through the caravan park in Frankfurt, Germany, Feb. 12. (CNS photo/Alexander Heinl, EPA) See GERMANY-CHRISTIAN-REFUGEES March 10, 2016.

Ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden in late October, Catholic World Report sat down with Syrian missionary priest Father Antoine Arab in Landskrona. It is widely known that Sweden has welcomed many immigrants from the Middle East; our topic for discussion was the situation of those immigrants who share our Christian faith.

Father Antoine Arab was born in 1962 in Aleppo, Syria, and ordained there in 1990. He moved to Sweden 13 years ago, where he serves the region of Scåne’s Arabic-speaking Catholic community.

In 2003, the Oriental Catholic Mission in Skåne (South Sweden) was established by the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm. The mission exists to serve Christians who come from countries in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Holy Land, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey) and who belong to different churches (Maronite, Melkite, Chaldean, Armenian, Coptic and Syriac). The mission operates under the authority of the Stockholm Catholic diocese, which is led by Bishop Anders Arborelius.

Father Arab is responsible for the mission and conducts all pastoral services for its members in Skåne—in particular, in the cities of Malmö, Lund, Helsingborg, and Landskrona. All Church services are celebrated in the Arabic and Swedish languages. He travels to the various parishes in the region to offer spiritual guidance to these Christians.

Read more at Catholic World Report.

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