The Church of Sweden declared teen star climate activist Greta Thunberg to be an appointed successor to Jesus Christ in a 2018 tweet that resurfaced in the wake of her speech before the United Nations.
“Announcement! Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg,” the tweet said on Dec. 1, 2018. The account, operated by the Limhamns Church, had previously tweeted several sentiments of climate activism.
The tweet’s reemergence came at the same time as Thunberg’s appearance at the United Nations earlier this month in which she sounded the alarm about climate change during a viral speech.
“My message is that we’ll be watching you,” Thunberg warned to a room full of world leaders. “You all come to us young people for hope, how dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones … We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?”
The Church of Sweden has a history of promulgating climate alarmism and Greta Thunberg particularly, noting on their official website, “When the Amazon burns, we gather to fight for Mother Earth together.”
While some Swedish Twitter users were amused by the tweet claiming Thunberg to be a successor to Christ, others found the suggestion offensive.
“Time and time again I ask myself: when was the Swedish church kidnapped by left-wing extremists?” one user wrote.
Others had a more sarcastic spin on the tweet. “Should you now abandon the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and start celebrating Greta Thunberg’s birthday instead?” one person said. “After all, we members must know who is the Savior we should worship and pay homage to.”
After some backlash in December when the tweet was published, the church posted a second tweet that suggested “success” could be interpreted in more than one way. Shortly after, the entire account was abandoned, with a sign-off message that defended the original celebration of Thunberg and suggested everyone has a right to interpret Jesus in their own way.
“Dear twitter, If we have hurt someone we apologize, it has never been our meaning. Our meaning has been to talk about Jesus Christ in our own way. Now we leave the arena. Thank you for your commitment, joy and debate. God bless you! Jonas Persson, ward pastor.”
The tweets have not been deleted, but the account was true to its word and has remained inactive since Dec. 6. The Church of Sweden is the largest Christian church in Sweden, though it ceased to be the official state religion in 2000.
Main image copyright: The New Republic
Written by: Ellie Bufkin