How the Church of Sweden’s Future Path is Being Prepared
The list of participants in the Church of Sweden’s conference “A world of neighbors” gives witness to the legacy Archbishop Antje Jackelen intends to leave behind in the form of a future path for the church. Beyond the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood organizational network, the conference also rested on another undercurrent: The Cairo Document.
At the conference “A world of neighbors” earlier this year, the Church of Sweden was represented not only by Antje Jackelen, but also by Gunilla Hallosten. Hallosten was until recently the Policy Director of the Church of Sweden’s international unit, but has an increased role today. Hallosten previously showed great sympathy for and has affirmed the Cairo Document, among others.
Annika Borg, doctor of theology and pastor in the Church of Sweden, has been one who early on and since has criticized the Church of Sweden’s path, as well as examined what the Cairo Document actually contains.
At the 2002 Church meeting, the document “God’s Path” was adopted, which stresses Jewish-Christian dialogue and rejects Replacement Theology. The document signified the beginning of a theological reflection, but would be supplemented and deepened by continued studies and conversations both with the Church of Sweden and with representatives of the Jewish faith. It was also intended to be a part of a necessary process of reconciliation since, “the largest portion of Europe’s Jews were destroyed on the continent where the Christian Church exercised influence from powerful positions.”
Today the Church is developing in another direction, which became even clearer at the Church of Sweden conference “A world of neighbors”. More of the inter-religious work has come to rest on the so-called Cairo Document, which was adopted at the 2012 Church meeting. The adoption of the Cairo Document in practice repealed the earlier decision made in 2002.
The Cairo Document is a basic document for the anti-Semitic BDS movement. Germany’s federal chancellor, Angela Merkel, is one of those who declared the movement to be anti-Semitic. It legitimizes terrorism, uses modern anti-Semitic rhetoric, is essentially Replacement Theology, and urges the total boycott of Israel. The document, together with other material from the Cairo-Palestine network, has been disseminated on the Church of Sweden’s website, shows up in study circles, and designs boycott packets for those who want to influence their local stores.
The Cairo Document is a document which basically is to be regarded as Replacement Theology
Replacement Theology is the theology which, in various ways, paints a black picture of Judaism and stresses Christianity as the bright, progressive alternative for the Church of Sweden and other Christian right alternatives. Either by considering Judaism obsolete, replaced by Christianity, or by painting Judaism as old and ossified as compared with Christianity, to be perceived as light, new and living.
Another variant is to make a hard contrast between the Old Testament (the Hebrew Bible, the Jews’ holy scripture) as warlike with a hard image of God against the New Testament as peaceful and loving.
A third ingredient in Replacement Theology is to claim that Christian interpretations of the Old Testament are superior to that of the Jews. In practice, Replacement Theology means that the justification for Judaism’s existence is rejected, and thus, the very basis for the existence of the State of Israel. The result has been a movement which is based on a scale from enmity to anti-Judaism, wrapped in anti-Semitism.
The spirit of the Cairo Document has grown strongly in the Church of Sweden since the 2012 church meeting, when it was adopted under Antje Jackelen’s representative, Anders Wejryd. And two years before Jackelen has to lay down the bishop’s crosier for retirement, the next step in the transformation of the Church of Sweden’s future is being prepared.
Archbishop Antje Jackelen’s project “A world of neighbors” sums it up and is designed as a consolidating force with think tanks and others together with the Muslim Brotherhood’s organizational networks. A clear political power with clear political goals with a well-developed cooperation which shares the Brotherhood’s basic anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic ideas.