As I boarded the X2000 train from Stokholm to Gothenburg yesterday morning I decided to gather some information to write my perspective on the FRA LAW (is the common name for anti-terrorist legislative package in Sweden warrantless wiretapping law, check the back ground here). I was not able to finish my viewpoint and concerns about it because of time pressure. As I this afternoon finally had time to be on line again I found to both my joy and surprise that my good friend Stefan Swärd had written an article about the Swedish government’s initiative to tap the phones of one of Sweden’s far most Christian leaders Ulf Ekman. This was wiretapping was going on in a time when Livets Ord (The Word of Life Church) was having much missionary work in the former Soviet Union. It was only recently that this severe violation had come to the surface since it was disclosed through the exposure of secret stamped documents.
Stefan who also happens to be the chairman of the board of our denomination (www.efk.se) demands from FRA’s director Ingvar Åkesson answers to the following questions:
1. Why was secret wiretapping exercised in the case of Ekman? Which public authority ordered it?
2. Are there more examples of Christian or other religious leaders who secretly have been wiretapped? (Without having been suspected of having committed crimes or for security reasons). If so, why were they wiretapped, and who gave the orders to do so?
3. As we now through the FRA LAW expand our praxis of the law by not only considering “external military threats” but even “external threats” – how does the reigning government secure that wiretapping, and thus abusing the integrity of religious leaders will not be done, not now, nor in the future?
Personally I am not surprised that Ulf Ekman was under scrutiny, my subjective convictions are that other potential threatening people were scrutinized too. With potential threat I do not necessarily mean people who have the plan to commit crimes or who are a threat for our nation’s or people’s security.
In our quiet and almost peaceful, tolerant nation there are many slumbering volcanoes hidden under the surface waiting to erupt. When one does not fit the mould one can be considered a threat to the Status Quo or our so carefully well-planned, well kept balance and perspective on our reality. (Whether our perspective on this reality is false or true doesn’t matter –don’t rock the boat!)
With that in mind I foresee a multiplication of potential “external threats” (see question three), and I am also convinced that religious and especially Christian leaders will be considered to belong to those. Why? Because they follow another King. The kingdom that they belong to is not of this world and thus their allegiances are not foremost here in the kingdom of Sweden.
Late history in Sweden shows that Christians are harder to deal with that other “religious” people, that’s why there is less tolerance for them. (It is rather significant that in a so-called Christian nation where we preach tolerance we are able to show tolerance to almost all religions and peoples except Christians…)
To be honest, I don’t care too much about it on a personal level since I remember a man with a cross who wasn’t the favorite in His time either… But politically and publically I want to raise my voice about this matter since it reeks injustice and shows intolerance. I will keep you posted on more of my perspectives on FRA!
That’s the Way I see it and I am open to be wrong!