Newcomers, residents, and the dynamics of conflict

Church, immigration, and the development of the city in Sweden

Authored by: Niclas Blåder

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Cities

Print publication date:  December  2020
Online publication date:  December  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367367121
eBook ISBN: 9780429351181
Adobe ISBN:


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In Sweden, as well as in many other countries, there is an ongoing debate concerning immigration. One major reason for this is the situation in 2015 when refugees came to Sweden in large numbers. The thesis of the article is that, in practice, not much happened then that has had lasting consequences for the city of Stockholm itself. However, what did happen was that civil society in a new and active way started to take part. Moreover, the “big story” changed from considering the Swedish immigration-friendly position as something good into considering it as naïve. And thereby weakening the idea of a “we,” which will probably affect the feeling of unity in Stockholm in the long run. The Church of Sweden—as the main religious actor in Sweden—as well as other religious groups have been actively working to transform the “big story” into a positive one again. With this they hope to contribute to the creation of a new, strong “we” in Stockholm as well as in society in general.

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