Skolverket says yes to niqab
Skolverket (The Swedish National Agency for Education) has come out with new guidelines and in these it is clear that the niqab, the veil worn by Muslim women that covers the entire face, will be allowed in Swedish schools. The authority refers to Sweden’s freedom of religion; and says that it is up to the school and the teachers to adjust the lessons to suit the needs of the students. “A veil that fully covers the face may make contact and interaction between teacher and students difficult, but Skolverket is of the opinion that these are difficulties that in most cases are surmountable.” According to the guidelines there is, however, room for a teacher or a director to ban the veil.

Skåne church multi-religious?
The church in Östra Nöbbelöv on Österlen has not been used for the past 14 years, and now it may become a meeting-place for several religions. If all goes according to plans, it may become Sweden’s first multi-religious church. The church was renovated in 1995, but closed two years later because there weren’t enough visitors. “People realize they cannot let church buildings stand and just fall apart,” says Karl-Erik Frisk, chairman of the church’s board. It has been decided to let the church continue to be a place of spirituality. “We are going to have a theological discussion to see if the church may be used by several religions. What, for instance, would be needed if Moslems want to use the space?” asks parish priest Mats Hagelin. The plan is to remove the pews and the altarpiece. When that’s done, young architects will compete on how to re-work the empty church space.

More homeless – yet fewer sleep outside
The number of homeless people is increasing in Sweden. Getting hold of a place to live is getting more and more difficult. Socialstyrelsen (The National Board of Health and Welfare) just presented new figures and according to them, the number of homeless people has increased with 4 000 since 2005, which brings the total to 34 000 today. Socialstyrelsen divides the homeless into 4 categories: 1. Acutely homeless people who sleep outside, on camping grounds or in youth hostels. Many women who’ve looked for help in women’s shelters belong to this group. All in all they are about 4 500. 2. People living at institutions, for instance those who have just left prisons and other treatment facilities. Around 5 600 people. 3.Social living solutions under the helm of the local municipality. These are often long-term solutions, but with demands that may mean the apartment can be taken from the person very suddenly. 13 900 people are in this group. 4. People who have asked for municipal help, but still must stay at family or friends. Students are not counted in this group. Around 6 800 people. Socialstyrelsen has yet to analyze the reason/s behind this marked increase, but only 7% of the 34 000 homeless people today have an income.

Found: Mysterious love letter
A love letter that was written 150 years ago, mysteriously appeared in a ditch in Morup the other day as two people strolled by. The letter, said to be dated July 24,1862, was found when the couple took a walk on Twelfth Night. It was the woman who found the hand-written note in the ditch. It seems to be a difficult letter to decipher, but according to Hallands Nyheter certain phrases are readable, and it is clear that it is a correspondence between the author of the letter, Lina, and a person named Otto. One sentence reads: “but my friend, you must never compare Paris to London” (“men min vän icke får du jämföra Paris med London”) and another “a hearty embrace… love You!” (“en hjertlig omfamning…älskar Dig!”). “One wonders of course who Otto and Lina were, that would be nice to know,” the woman who found the letter says in an interview with Hallands Nyheter. How come the letter was found intact outside is unclear.