A church in the Netherlands has held continuous non-stop services since October to prevent the deportation of an Armenian family.
The Bethel Church, located in The Hague, has been holding a continuous service for over a month to prevent Dutch authorities from entering the facility and deporting a family of Armenian refugees who have sought refuge in the church. Dutch law prevents police from entering a church while they are having services.
According to a notice on the church’s website the “continuous celebration” began on October 26. The family was granted temporary asylum, but only through the end of the year. Efforts to attain a pardon failed and the family was notified of their impending deportation.
The Church said it is providing asylum to provide rest and safety for the family while buying time. In a statement the Church says it, “respects court orders, but finds itself confronted with a dilemma: the choice between respecting the government and protecting the rights of a child.”