Hungary offers asylum to Iranian convert to Christianity

August 10, 2017

Aideen Strandsson

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén (Christian Democratic People’s Party, KDNP) says Hungary would grant an Iranian convert to Christianity refugee status were she to seek asylum in the country.

Aideen Strandsson, a Christian convert, is said to face deportation from Sweden despite what Hungarian pro-government newspaper Magary Idők identifies as potential imprisonment and torture that Christians in Iran can expect, reports

Semjén said that if Strandsson seeks asylum in Hungary, she can expect a favorable outcome at the end of the official procedure that includes a national security screening.

Strandsson moved to Sweden from Iran in 2014, according to European petition website After her arrival there she was publicly baptized. But her application for asylum has been rejected twice, for unknown reasons, by the Swedish Migration Agency, despite the Geneva Convention and other agreements prohibiting countries from deporting asylum-seekers who could face danger upon their return.

She told the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN News) that her first choice is to remain in Sweden, if possible.

Sweden accepted a significantly high number of refugees compared to its population in recent years. The Swedish Migration Board accepted 12,955 asylum applications in the first half of 2017, 46% of the total applications submitted. By contrast, the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office has admitted 46 persons as refugees during the same time, out of 332 approved asylum claims. The Hungarian authority meanwhile refused 2,417 cases and ordered the deportation of 285 persons. This amounts to an acceptance rate of 7.18%.

According to Minister Semjén: “Hungary doesn’t send anyone back to a country where their life or physical health is in danger. We have always differentiated between economic migrants and real refugees. We’ll protect Hungary from a migrant invasion but help all those in real danger.” Semjén added that it is the moral and constitutional duty of Hungary to accept persecuted Christians, who can “integrate easily into the Christian European culture, unlike Muslims who have no intention of integrating.”