Sweden’s desecration of Islam’s holy book has prompted a bid to burn the Bible. European evangelicals condemn the offense but link the freedoms of expression and religion.

Swedish evangelicals fear a human rights retreat, as the fallout continues from last month’s Quran burning.

Earlier this month, Iraq expelled the Swedish ambassador after Swedish police authorized the burning of the Torah and the Bible in front of the Israeli embassy in Stockholm—though the Muslim applicant did not go through with it.

“If I burn the Torah, another the Bible, another the Quran, there will be war here,” stated Ahmad A. “What I wanted to show is that it’s not right to do it.”

Though unintentional, he succeeded in showing the neutrality of Swedish law. There was scant outcry from Christians to protect their Scripture, but overall many Swedes are sympathetic to his plea. More than half favor prohibition of the burning of any religious books, up from 42 percent in February.

To do so may require reviving blasphemy laws that were scrapped in the 1970s. Following a similar incident last year, the former prime minister of Sweden stated such acts should be prosecuted as hate speech, lamenting the waste of budget to protect rogue actors. And after this round of international outcry, the government announced that it is currently exploring if such a law can be passed.

But across the European continent, Christian leaders are expressing alarm.

“If you can’t burn the Quran, can you put it in the toilet?” asked Olof Edsinger, general secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance. “There are many ways of desecration, and you can’t stop them all.”

Fully condemning the offense itself, he clarifies that any law—however broadly worded—would be tailored only for the religious community that is offended. The issue is with Muslim reaction, he says, and …

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