The largest Christian denomination in Sweden has issued an open letter announcing that it is “trans.”
A Church of Sweden diocese published the statement declaring itself transgender while also condemning the media, right-wing christian groups and feminists for allegedly discriminating against people with different gender identities.
The statement proclaims that “no one can strip you of your gender identity and your human dignity” and that God and the Church of Sweden embraces “humanity in all the colors of the rainbow.”
RT reports: Published on the Vasteras diocese’s website, the declaration, titled ‘Personal letter to you who are trans,’ states that the Lutheran national church could arguably identify as transgender because of its diverse array of priests, employees and parishioners.
“We write to you from a church that is also trans,” the letter begins. “A church is made up of people. People are different. We have confirmees, employees, churchwardens, elected representatives, non-profits, and other parishioners who define themselves as trans people. The church also consists of trans people. Therefore, the church could be described as trans.”
The letter goes on to state that it could no longer remain silent as media outlets, “radical right-wing Christian groups” and “trans-excluding” feminists allegedly conspire to deprive transgender people of their rights and human dignity.
The statement lamented how trans people have been subjected to “words and actions” from “humanity’s darkest sides” and called for “a broad solidarity feminism that fights narrow gender norms.”
The letter proceeds to compare the plight of transgender people to a story in the Bible about an exploited slave girl who is driven into the desert by her cruel masters.
No one can strip you of your gender identity and your human dignity, the statement proclaims, adding that God and the Church of Sweden embraces “humanity in all the colors of the rainbow.”
Authored by six church members, four of them priests, the letter garnered nearly 1,000 signatures from fellow priests, deacons, and other people affiliated with the Church of Sweden.
The letter seemed to divide Swedes. Some applauded the declaration as inclusive and proof of the church’s much-touted progressive values.
Others criticized the church for becoming “a haunt for left-wing activists” while sidelining actual Christian teachings.
Sweden’s national church has taken bold stances on gender and sexuality in the past. The church previously revealed plans to update its hymnal with more inclusive language and, in one high-profile incident, unveiled an altarpiece that replaced Adam and Eve with gay couples, and also featured a transgender serpent.
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