Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden
|Regions with significant populations|
|Södertälje, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Örebro, Västerås, Norrköping, Linköping|
|Neo-Aramaic, Swedish, (some knowledge of Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish and Persian)|
|Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church and Syriac Catholic Church|
Assyrians/Syriacs in Sweden (Swedish: Assyrier/Syrianer) are Swedish people of Assyrian descent or Assyrians who have Swedish citizenship. According to different estimates the Swedish Assyrians are numbering approximately 100,000 people.
The Assyrians in Sweden mainly came due to ethnic and religious conflicts from Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran that largely corresponds with the Assyrian homeland, including parts of what is now primarily northern Iraq, northeastern Syria, northwestern Iran, and southeastern Turkey. Also, some of the first Assyrians came from other Western Asian countries outside of the Assyrian homeland like Lebanon, Jordan, and Armenia. Those who had already lived in Sweden for a longer period were finally granted residence permit for humanitarian reasons.
The Assyrian/Syriac community in Sweden numbers an estimated 30–40,000 people (2016). An estimated 18,000 live in Södertälje, which is seen as the unofficial Assyrian/Syriac capital of Europe due to the city's high percentage of Assyrians/Syriacs.
There is an ideological division of this group in Sweden between
- Aramaenists, adherents of the Syriac Orthodox Church (West Syrian Rite) who insist on the name Syrianer and an "Aramaean" heritage for the group.
- Assyrianists of various denominational backgrounds, who de-emphasize religious adherence in favour of pre-Christian antiquity, who insist on the name Assyrier and an Assyrian heritage for the group.
In order to keep alive their religious identities, they built new churches.
The migration to Sweden may be broken up into a number of distinct periods: early settlement and the subsequent waves of migration sparked by the Assyrian genocide in present-day Turkey, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and, more recently, during the 2000s, an unprecedented immigration wave from Iraq and Syria reached Sweden as a result of the Iraq Wars (Gulf War in 1991, Iraq War in 2003, Iraqi Civil War in 2014–present) and the Syrian Civil War in 2011–present.
Sports and media activities
The Swedish authorities have granted many rights for Assyrian/Syriacs including their own professional football (soccer) teams like Assyriska FF and Syrianska FC. Also, the Swedish authorities have granted the right of Assyrians to broadcast international TV-channels like Suryoyo Sat and Suroyo TV from the Swedish territory.
- Kennedy Bakircioglu
- Abgar Barsom
- Jimmy Durmaz
- Stefan Batan
- Ibrahim Baylan
- Fares Fares
- Josef Fares
- Andreas Haddad
- Yilmaz Kerimo
- Nuri Kino
- Josef Özer
- Gabriel Özkan
- Ninsun Poli
- Suleyman Sleyman
- Sharbel Touma
- Elias Zazi
- Denho Acar
- David Durmaz
- Isa Demir
- Faia Younan
- Stephan Yüceyatak
- Aboud Zazi
- Nisha Besara
- Daniel Boyacioglu
- Roger Hadad
- Robert Halef
- Metin Ataseven
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- Berntson, Martin. "Assyrier eller syrianer? Om fotboll, identitet och kyrkohistoria." rapport nr.: Humanistdag-boken 16 (2003).