In the budget negotiations between the ruling parties and the Progress Party (FRP) on Tuesday, the parties agreed that Christian refugees should be given priority when choosing who should come to Norway.
The Labor Party (AP) reacted to the agreement, asking the ruling Christian Democrats (KrF) whether they had changed their view that persecuted minorities should be treated equally, regardless of religion.
The decision provoked reactions from AP’s Anniken Huitfeldt.
On Wednesday, she referred to recent statements made by Minister for Development Aid Dag-Inge Ullstein (KrF) in the newspaper Dagen about how such an emphasis could have unfortunate consequences.
The argument is that giving preference to Christians could worsen the situation for the Christians who are left in the countries they are fleeing from.
“If there is a perception that Christians receive special treatment from Western authorities, local Christians can be accused of infiltration and of being associated with Western interests.
“It could increase the level of conflict and exacerbate persecution and discrimination,” Huitfeldt said.
Ullstein denied that the party had changed its position on the issue.
He acknowledged that the FRP wanted Christians to be given priority but pointed out that this also applies to other religious minorities such as Yazidis or Ahmadiyya Muslims.
“The fact that these groups are mentioned in the agreement does not mean that we downgrade other religious minorities,” he said.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today