English: Arrested at Pentecost service

A pastor, an usher and a parishioner were arrested by Swedish police during a Pentecost service on SAAB Microwave

The three active in the Covenant Church, vine and fig tree planters and plowshares, were arrested in the midst of a Pentecost service at the military company SAAB Microwave, Sweden, on the 27th of May 2012. They were released after 45 min, 7.15-8 pm.

The Holy Communion service took place at SAAB Micorwaves (Mölndal, Sweden), a company that makes radar for military use. A Swedish vine was planted as part of the service. Three persons were taken into custody as they climbed the fence. The three were Pastor Leif Herngren, (Covenant Church Björkö), Claesgöran Johnson, (Rosa Huset Lövgärdets Covenant Church) and the usher for the Pentecost service Per Herngren.

A priest in the Church of Sweden, Sara Blom, who preached during the service was not arrested, neither was Pastor Bengt Andréasson who conducted the service.

SAAB Microwave is the fifth largest supplier of military radar in the world and supplied fire-control systems used in the war in Iraq. During the service all kind of protest and negative messages were avoided, seePostprotest.

”We had good conversations with the police during our time in custody, as well as with the guards from Microwave” says Leif Herngren. ”My legs became stiff from sitting down in the police van, so I was allowed to stand outside.”

”We managed to plant one Scandinavian species of vine plant before we were arrested.” says Claesgöran Johnson. ”And complete the communion and the church service”, adds Per Herngren.

Planting of vine and fig trees

Inspired by the prophet Micah, we choose to plant vine and fig trees as a part of Pentecost. The prophets of the Bible as well as those of today choose shocking methods to show how we can live together with justice and solidarity. To start to live the kingdom of God, here and now, at the places where violence and oppression prevails.

”They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war any more. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig-tree, and no-one will make him afraid.” or her. (Micah 4:3-4)

Life that gives life to all

With Pentecost the body of Christ starts to breathe and come to life. The Church enters into the world, gives life, solidarity and community. It claims life. And therefore the Church is met with resistance and protest. After Easter the Church was hidden, afraid, introvert and focused upon itself and its members. But with Pentecost the Church transforms to a life for Life. Now the Church breathes were breathing is hindered. Now life starts blooming, life claims life where death prevails. 

After Pentecost the Church meets with resistance and protest. Stoning, imprisonment and executions follow directly on the change of direction outward, starting with Pentecost. Since the living Church claims life where people are being threatened and oppressed, the Church is always met with resistance. Pentecost, as the living of life, the life that doesn’t make excuses, will imply prosecution. The resistance begins with Pentecost.

Organizers of the Pentecost service

Rosa Huset Lövgärdets missionskyrka (parish of Covenant Church of Sweden) ,
Bengt Andreasson pastor of Rosa Huset,
Sara Blom priest in the Church of Sweden,
Leif Herngren pastor of Covenant Church of Sweden,
The Fig Tree Resistance Community of Hammarkullen – A Jona House and Catholic Worker community in Sweden,
The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, Göteborg,
Per Herngren of the Fig Tree Resistance Community and part of Swedish Plowshares.
Local chapter of Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation.

Pictures on the Swedish web pages:http://ickevald.net/plogbill/pingst.htm

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