Publications

Sparre, Sara Lei, 2016, ’(U)synlighed og den muslimske anden: Narrativer om flugt og religiøs identitet blandt irakiske kristne i Danmark’ [(In)visibility and the Muslim other: Narratives of flight and religious identity among Iraqi Christians in Denmark], Journal of Islamic Research 10(1)

The article explores religious identity and Muslim-Christian relations among Iraqi Christians in Denmark. Iraqi Christians’ narratives of flight and the encounter with Denmark reflect a constant oscillation between, on the one hand, safety, equal rights and religious freedom, and, on the other, minorisation due to experiences of being made invisible as Christians and visible as Muslims. I argue that these Iraqi Christians interpret and navigate their experiences of minorisation and (in)visibility by rewriting narratives of flight and persecution and thus their relationship to the Muslim other.


Gala, Lise Paulsen and Sparre, Sara Lei, 2016, Kirkens hjemliggørelse: mellemøstlige kristne i Danmark. In Kristne migranter Norden, edited by Anders Aschim, Olav Hovdelien, Helje Kringlebotn Sødal. Portal Forlag,, pp. 52-67.


Hunter, Alistair, 2016, ‘Staking a Claim to Land, Faith and Family: Burial Location Preferences of Middle Eastern Christian Migrants’, Journal of Intercultural Studies, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp. 179-194.

In order to get a more profound understanding of the relationship which Middle Eastern Christians develop both with their homelands and their countries of residence, we asked project participants about where they would like to be buried. The question of where to be buried may confront migrants and their descendants with a stark existential choice which reveals much about how identities are negotiated in and through place. This article explores this relationship between identity and place. More concretely, it sets out a typology of motivations for preferred burial location in a diasporic context. The paper also investigates the hypothesis that burial in the country of residence constitutes a straightforward indicator of migrant integration. Based on 67 interviews with Christians of Middle Eastern origin in Britain, Denmark and Sweden, the paper underlines the sometimes ambivalent relationship which migrants and their descendants negotiate between place and identity.

50 free Eprints of this article are available.


Galal, Lise Paulsen; Hunter, Alistair; McCallum, Fiona; Sparre, Sara Lei and Wozniak-Bobinska, Marta, 2016, ‘Middle Eastern Christian spaces in Europe: multi-sited and super-diverse’, Journal of Religion in Europe, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp. 1–25.

Despite little scholarly attention, Middle Eastern Christian Churches are a well-established element of the European religious landscape. Based on collaborative research, this article examines how three mutual field visits facilitated a deeper understanding of the complexity that characterises church establishment and activities among Iraqi, Assyrian/Syriac and Coptic Orthodox Christians in the UK, Sweden and Denmark. Exploring analytical dimensions of space, diversity, size, and minority position we identify three positions of Middle Eastern Christians: in London as the epitome of super-diversity, in Copenhagen as a silenced minority within a minority, and in Södertälje as a visible majority within a minority.


Galal, Lise Paulsen, 2016, ‘Kirkens betydning for koptiske kristne i Danmark: Et spørgsmål om ritualer?’, Religion. Tidsskrift for Religionslærerforeningen for Gymnasiet og HF, 2016:1, pp. 26-37.

This article presents different approaches among Copts in Denmark to church rituals and how they negotiate belonging to Christianity, Egypt and the Coptic Orthodox Church.


Jørgensen, Anne Rosenlund, 2015, ‘Reframing Interfaith Boundary Crossing and Maintenance: Middle Eastern Christians’ Narratives on Intimacy with Muslims’, Journal of Islamic Research, 9:2, pp. 28-47.

By exploring narratives of Middle Eastern Christians (MECs) in Denmark I want to open an important, yet overlooked, window on invisible intra-ethnic relations in an immigrant context in Denmark. The subject of research is negotiations of boundary maintenance and strategies for recovering from boundary crossings in cases of interfaith intimacies between MEC women and Muslim men in Denmark. The research focuses on different contextual aspects of intimate boundary crossing and argues that already at the stage of dating, the relationship challenges boundaries and erodes families and communities. In order to explore some very diverse narratives, I ask: How do MECs in Denmark, who carry experiences of intra-ethnic interfaith intimacies with Muslims, negotiate boundary maintenance at the levels of the individual, the family and the MEC community?


Sparre, Sara Lei; Hunter, Alistair; Jørgensen, Anne Rosenlund; Galal, Lise Paulsen; McCallum, Fiona and Wozniak, Marta (University of St Andrews, St Andrews), 2015, Middle Eastern Christians in Europe: Histories, Cultures and Communities (PDF 21 Mb)

This multilingual publication provides a short overview of the case study communities and is aimed at community members and other actors interested in these topics. The themes covered in this publication are: the origins of Middle Eastern Christianity, Facts and Figures of the communities, community activities, engagement in the countries of residence, connections with the countries of origin, challenging times and contributions and aspirations.

The booklet was launched at various events including the end of project conference at St Andrews in May 2015, a presentation organised by CCME in Brussels in July 2015 and meetings aimed at the communities and interested observers in the different fieldsites in UK, Denmark and Sweden in summer 2015.