An Armenian family who’s asylum request to the Netherlands was denied, has found sanctuary with a local church.
The New York Times reported on how the Bethel Church in The Hague is using a legal loophole to allow the family to remain.
According to Dutch law, enforcement officials can’t interfere in a place holding religious service. When the Armenian family was denied five weeks ago, the local pastor began a service that has yet to end. It has brought hundreds of religious leaders together to lead an ongoing worship, supporting the family.
“There are already more than 450 different priests, pastors, deacons, elders from around the country, every denomination, wanting to be put on the rotation to participate in this service,” Axel Wicke, Bethel’s pastor, informed the New York Times.
“Even from abroad we’ve gotten help — there have been sermons held in English, French and German,” he said. “It’s quite moving to us. I often see a pastor handing over the service to another pastor of another denomination who they would ordinarily not have anything to do with, liturgically.”
The church hopes that it’s actions will allow the family’s case to be overturned asylum granted. The Times reports that the family has continued Dutch court proceedings for the last six years.