This church saved a family from deportation by holding a service for 96 days.
An around-the-clock prayer service ended on January 30 after the Dutch cabinet agreed to allow an Armenian family of five to remain in the country. The church service was initiated on October 26, 2018 at the Bethel Church in the Netherlands to protect the Tamrazyan family from deportation. Dutch law prohibits police from entering churches during religious services.
The family fled Armenia in 2010, because of alleged death threats they received due to the father’s political activism. Their claim for political asylum was rejected by the Dutch government but an agreement struck on January 29 granted them amnesty.
It will also grant residency to other families who’ve already lived in the Netherlands for years. This measure will reportedly protect more than 600 people from deportation.
The Tamarazyans had lived in the country for nine years, before there were officially rejected asylum.
“We are extremely grateful for a safe future for hundreds of refugee families in the Netherlands. For months we have held up hope and now that hope is taking shape,” church chairman Thea Hettema stated. “We are deeply impressed by all the predecessors, volunteers and other who have participated in this church shelter.”