The Saint Afram Syriac Orthodox Cathedral is a Syriac Orthodox cathedral in Södertälje in Sweden. It was opened in 1983, and is governed by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate’s Representation in Sweden
Kayla Koslosky | ChristianHeadlines.com Editor | Monday, June 17, 2019
A Syrian Orthodox church in Sweden was targeted by bombers for the second time last week.
According to Summit News, a bomb went off inside of a building adjacent to St. Afrem Church in Södertälje, Sweden last week around 3:00 am.
The building was being used as a rental space for events and parties.
According to CBN News, police were alerted of the bombing after nearby residents heard loud explosions.
Reportedly, this is the second time in recent months that this church – which is located in an area that is highly populated by Muslim refugees – has been targeted.
According to the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe – a not-for-profit persecution watchdog – St. Afrem was first targeted last September when the banquet hall which was often rented from the church for events was bombed. No injuries occurred as a result of the explosion since the hall was empty at the time.
The National Bomb Guard is investigating the most recent bombing, but police are already speculating that there is “a motive against the church.”
Authorities believe that the investigation will be difficult since suspects typically swiftly flee from scenes where bombings are committed.
According to Summit News, Sweden received a high percentage of refugees in their country of the past few years. Particularly in Södertälje, more than 50 percent of the town’s population is now made up of people with “migrant backgrounds,” the outlet reports.
A report by Radio Sweden also notes that Södertälje received “the largest percentage of refugees and this, in turn, has caused major problems.”
Reportedly, grenade attacks and deadly shootings – crimes that were not previously major issues in the European country – now represent a “national emergency” in Sweden.
No injuries were reported as a result of the bombing, Summit News reports.
Photo courtesy: Jonathan Brinkhorst/Unsplash