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In Växjö (Sweden) church bells have to remain silent while the muezzin calls to prayer

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

While the church bells of the St. Michael's Church in Växjö, southern Sweden, must be silent, the muezzin of the local mosque is allowed to sound his four-minute prayer call Adhan over the city.

Växjö has almost 70,000 inhabitants and is located in the district of Kronoberg in the Småland region. For tourists, the city has significance as 'Capital of the Kingdom of Crystal'.

Politically, Växjö was rather insignificant in the past, apart from the fact that there was some discussion at the end of the 20th century about the ringing of the church bells.

At that time, the authorities decided that the ringing of bells for the service violated the imperative of religious freedom and prevented it.

Quite different is the verdict of the authorities, according to a report by 'nyheter24' regarding the four-minute prayer call "Adhan" for the Friday prayers of the local mosque.

According to the report, 'Sveriges Radio' it's allowed now to sound every Friday at 1 pm to call Muslims to prayer. The muezzin does not even have to strain his voice: he may spread the call by loudspeaker.

Pastor Ingvar Fogelqvist of St. Michael's Church, one of the churches banned from ringing bells, is not a little outraged. He complains that there is a blatant violation of the law of fairness her.

His church is not even one kilometer away from the mosque. If the decision of the authorities regarding the call to prayer is upheld, he will ask to allow the ringing of the church bells again, he told the Swedish press.

The decision in Växjö is already making itself felt in the political landscape of Sweden. While Swedish Prime Minister Lofven (Social Democrats) welcomed the decision as a sign against demarcation, the Christian Democrat Ebba Busch Thor sees here a clear violation of religious freedom.

Conservative councilor Anna Tenje fears that the decision does not promote integration, but rather deepens the split.

An online poll at 'nyheter24' shows a clear opinion: 78 percent of the participants spoke out against the call of the muezzin for Friday prayers. It does not belong to Sweden.

SOURCE (in German)

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