The Norwegian government has dropped requirements for religious buildings housing migrants to remove crosses after a national backlash.

The requirement by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) had been directed at Churches hoping to house asylum seekers, to ensure the buildings were “religion neutral” before they received the foreigners into their care. This meant removing crosses, images of Jesus and other religious symbols, reports

Now the government has admitted they decided to enact the policy without even receiving a single complaint from migrants about obviously religious buildings being used to house them, and in light of popular resistance to the move they have cancelled the requirement. Despite the retreat, other rules still remain for would-be Christian hosts.

Overnight accommodation must still have a “religion neutral” room with no Christian symbols for migrants to pray in, and despite having displayed Christian charity towards migrants groups have been banned from also sharing the faith. Told “no preaching”, the official guidelines still state: “It is very important that there is no active service of any kind in refugee centres”.

Would Norwegian migrants receive such delicate treatment in, say, Syria?