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Christians Forced to Hide Their Faith From ‘Abusive’ Muslim Refugees

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on June 14, 2016


CHRISTIAN refugees have been forced to hide their faith from Muslim refugees who bully them over their religion.

According to German newspaper Zeit a number of refugees in Hamburg said they feel unsafe and fear for their safety because of their faith.

Dena Kasravi, a Christian convert from Iran, spent years attending illegal bible groups in her homeland but after making her way to Germany said she still lives in fear.

The 33-year-old said: “If they find out, I will be fair game. Everyone will have the right to destroy me. Some Muslims even think it is their obligation.

I can’t get rid of the fear.”

Miss Kasravi’s name has been changed and other Christian refugees say they are repeatedly verbally attacked by Muslim refugees.

One young Iranian woman said a Syrian man questions her every day about why she does not wear a headscarf and cover herself up.

Security guards at refugee camps in Hamburg have reportedly told the Christian residents to keep their faith a secret, claiming they cannot protect them if their secret is revealed.

Miss Kasravi and two dozen refugees have set up a secret church at the camp but none of them wear a cross or reads the Bible in front of the Muslim refugees.

The group are unable to escape questioning, particularly during Ramadan where every Muslim at the camp was asked to sign a list if they were taking part.

An Iraqi man questioned Miss Kasravi about why her name wasn’t on the list.

The 33-year-old was forced to lie and pretend she was not allowed to fast due to a thyroid problem.

Only Armenians and Assyrians are permitted to practise Christianity in Iran.

All other Christian activity is forbidden with 108 Christians arrested for attending underground churches in the Islamic republic in the last year.

According to Zeit the number of Christians has increased in Hamburg with Iranian Christians able to seek asylum in Germany to escape persecution in Iran.

One refugee, who did not wish to be named, said: “The denouncing of your faith is heavily punished in Iran. Therefore converting to another religion was one of the few reasons Iranians would get asylum in Germany.”

The Alpha and Omega International Church said last year they had about 250 members in Hamburg, now they have 450, with up to ten new people attending mass each week.

Concerns have been raised that desperate refugees are converting just to improve their chances of being granted asylum.

Dietlind Jochims, Commissioner for Refugees of the North Church, said: “It would be naive to think that people do not grasp at any straw that might give them a better chance to stay, but it’s not up to clerics to test the strength of someone’s faith.”

But despite a surge in refugees attending church, Stefan Heße, archbishop of Hamburg, said the church can take up to a year before deciding to baptise someone.

Asylum officials are also trained to ask questions about religion and expect converts to be able to explain fully why they converted and what it means to them.

Miss Kasravi’s experience comes in the wake of a study that found Christian refugees, particularly converts from Islam to Christianity, have been attacked, abused or harassed at refugee centres in Germany.

A report from Open Doors, a Christian aid organisation, said more than 80 per cent of Christian refugees had suffered at the hands of Muslims at refugee camps set up to deal with the 1.2million refugees who have arrived in Germany during the last 18 months.

Others claimed the German authorities were not doing enough to protect them.



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