Christian Persecution Nov/Dec 2016
GERMANY—Thousands of Christians who fled to Germany from Islamic countries for safety and religious freedom now face violence, harassment, and death threats for their faith from Muslim refugees in Germany’s asylum camps.
Open Doors, an international Christian humanitarian organization that serves the persecuted church, recently documented 231 cases of Christian harassment. Of those surveyed, Breitbart’s Chris Tomlinson reported, “The most prevalent form of abuse was verbal insults, with 96 people saying that they had received abuse or threats. Eighty-six said they had been physically assaulted, and 73 said they had been subjected to death threats against themselves and family members. Three quarters of the migrants also said they had been victims of multiple attacks.”
However, these cases are only “the tip of the iceberg,” Open Doors member Markus Rode said. According to Action for Persecuted Christians (AVC), which helped with the survey, about 40,000 Christians in Germany’s refugee camps are persecuted for their faith, Breitbart reported.
A local pastor believes the reason for the persecution is the German government’s “misconceived tolerance” of Islam, Tomlinson reported. German politician Erika Steinbach said such crimes against Christians are “horrific attacks on our fundamental values and our Constitution,” and she called on the government to deport immigrants who persecute Christians, according to Breitbart.
Most of the Christians in the camps are converts from Islam who have escaped Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. They fled to Germany expecting to find safety and religious freedom. Instead, Tomlinson wrote, “they are finding more and more that they are in as much danger from radical Muslims in Europe as they were in their home countries.”
A Christian from Iran told reporters she must conduct her Bible studies in secret for fear of persecution in the German camp. “If they find out,” she said, “I will be fair game. Everyone will have the right to destroy me. Some Muslims even think it’s their obligation.” A young Iranian woman in the Bible study said Muslims ask her repeatedly why she does not wear a headscarf or fast during Ramadan, Breitbart reported.
Paul Kurt of the Central Council of Eastern Christians in Germany (ZOCD) commented, “These are not isolated cases. I do not know any accommodations from Garmisch to Hamburg where we did not come across such cases. I’ve seen families who have returned [to their home countries] voluntarily because of threats,” Breitbart reported.
Nearly half of those surveyed said even the security guards harass them for their faith, RT.com reported. According to German media, most of the guards in Germany’s asylum centers are Muslim.
Karl Hafen of the International Society for Human Rights in Frankfurt said women who have escaped ISIS in Syria meet their persecutors again in the German camps and remain in danger, RT.com reported. A Christian from Syria said he was “shocked” to find Muslim fundamentalists in the place where he expected to find refuge.
Several human rights organizations, including Open Doors and AVC, have encouraged the German government to house Christians in separate camps and hire more non-Muslim security guards. Steinbach also recently called on the government to implement marked change by next year, ensuring the safety of Christians in Germany, saying, “If we do nothing about it, we will lose our foundations in this country,” Breitbart reported.
For more information, go to Breitbart.com.
From news reports