Under the Dutch law, police officers are forbidden to interrupt church services, and so the church leaders at the Bethel Church in Holland decided to use this to their advantage, to stop a deportation order.
The Tamrazyan family fled Armenia in 2010 due to political persecution. 21-year-old Hayarpi, 19-year-old Warduhi, and 15-year-old Seyran, and their parents, who have chosen not to be named, have lived in the Netherlands for the last nine years. They were at a threat of being deported but Dutch law states that the police cannot enter a building “intended for religious or reflective meetings of a philosophical nature, during the worship or reflection meeting.”
After three attempts, the Dutch government had repeatedly denied the Tamrazyan family asylum. However, under the Kinderpardon (Children’s Pardon) Law, Hayarpi, Warduhi and Seyran would have received protection. However, changes to the law in 2013 had made the application process much more difficult.
On 26 October 2018, the family was facing arrest and immediate deportation, and as a result, they were forced to take refuge at a church in Katwijk. When the Katwijk church ran out of resources, the Tamrazyans secretly fled to a church service at Bethel Church in The Hague, where the Church leadership decided to continue their service for as long as it takes for “divine intervention.” The Bethel Church became a Kerkasiel (church asylum). It took 96 days of non-stop prayer and worship for the miracle to emerge as the Dutch government decided, a few weeks ago, to show compassion to the Tamrazyan family.
The Kerkasiel service ended after the Dutch ruling coalition announced, that not only the Tamrazyan family but also hundreds of previously rejected children’s asylum applications will now no longer face deportation.