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Dutch church holds 800 hour worship to protect immigrant deportation

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bethel church
Bethel Church in The Hague has been holding an
around-the-clock for 800 hours to save an Armenian family from
deportation.

Protestantsekerkdenhaag

  • A Dutch church has been holding a church service for
    the past 800 hours to stop an Armenian family from
    deportation.
  • Bethel Church in The Hague is trying to protect the
    Tamrazyan family, who reportedly fled Armenia in 2010 and
    recently had their asylum status overturned.
  • Dutch law forbids police from entering places of
    worship while a service is ongoing.
  • Four hundred pastors from around the country have
    traveled to The Hague to keep the service running around the
    clock.

A Dutch church has been holding a service for over 800 hours to
protect an immigrant family because Dutch law forbids police from
entering places of worship while a service is ongoing.

The Hague’s Bethel Church has been holding the ceremony around
the clock since 1:30 p.m. on October 26, the church
said
.

It is trying to protect the Tamrazyan family, who fled Armenia in
2010, CBC
and
CNN
reported. They have three children.

Police cannot enter a space “intended for religious or reflective
meetings of a philosophical nature, during the worship or
reflection meeting,” the country’s 2010 General
Act on Entry says
.


bethel church
More than 400 pastors have
traveled to the church to hold services around the
clock.

Protestantsekerkdenhaag

The family was granted conditional asylum upon entering the
Netherlands in April 2010, but the government rejected their
application for a full political asylum status, CNN said. It’s
not clear when the Dutch government made that decision.

Four hundred pastors from around the country have volunteered to
keep the service going, CBC reported.

The photos below show Hayarpi, one of the family’s children,
taking part in one of the services two weeks ago.

Axel Wicke, one of the volunteers keeping the service running,
told CNN that the plan was hatched in secret and that they
prepared by compiling every order of service they had done over
the past ten years into one document. 

He said: “I had copied and pasted the liturgies of the last 10
years into one huge document and we just sang and prayed through
that, until other pastors were found and took over.”

Theo Hettema, the chairman of the General Council of Protestant
Ministers in the Netherlands, also told CNN: “This was a clear
opportunity to put the love for our neighbor into reality.”

 

Wicke added that while police are not waiting outside the church,
the building is being monitored “more closely than usual.”


bethel church
The building is being
monitored “more closely than usual,” a volunteer told
CNN.

Google Maps

Martin Goeman, a children’s legal advisor in the Netherlands,
told CNN that the family could theoretically get a “children’s
pardon,” which is for people who have been in the country for
more than five years.

The parents can then apply for a resident permit with that
pardon, the Dutch immigration department
said
.

The Dutch government usually denies those applications, Goeman
said. But she added: “The Minister for Migration could solve (the
situation) in one day — by using his discretionary powers. There
is a solution.”

Reverend Joost Roselaers, one of the pastors, told CNN: “We will
go on and on until it’s clear that this family can stay.”


Read more:

There’s a small town in Holland where the streets are made of
water, and it looks like something straight out of a fairy
tale

 

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