THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch Protestant church has ended a non-stop service that started in October to protect a family of Armenian asylum-seekers from deportation after the government announced changes to its immigration policy.
The Bethel Church, a small chapel in a Hague residential neighbourhood, announced the end of the 24-7 service Wednesday, a day after the Dutch ruling coalition announced it will review hundreds of asylum applications by children that previously were rejected.
Church official Theo Hettema said in a statement that “we are incredibly grateful for a safe future in the Netherlands for hundreds of refugee families.”
The round-the-clock church service began Oct. 26 to protect the Tamrazyan family — parents, their two daughters and a son. Dutch law prohibits authorities from entering a church building while a service is underway.
The Associated Press