The Complexity of Survival: Asylum Seekers, Resilience and Religion

Publikation: Working paperForskning

A growing number of asylum seekers with Muslim background choose to get baptized as Christians while their application is being treated. The practice of conversion among asylum seekers from the Middle-East is charged with critique and suspicion from government authorities and the general public. The then Danish Minister for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Bertel Haarder, has suggested that pastors should refrain from baptizing migrants who are in the process of apply-ing for asylum. The Minister’s advice is problematic for a number of reasons: above all, be-cause the advice appears to reduce conversion to a simple instrument to obtain asylum. In this article, we show how his recommendation ignores the complexity of motives involved in the change of religious affiliation. By our adjustment of Bourdieu’s theory of social capital, we demonstrate how conversion is also a way of existential survival in a situation of social limi-nality and psychological insecurity.
UdgiverDanish Institute for Human Rights
StatusAfsendt - 8 okt. 2017
NavnMatters of Concern. Working paper series. New and Emerging Research on Human Rights across Academic Disciplines

ID: 184714115