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Refugees in Germany Who Convert to Christianity Continue to Face Violent Attacks

Refugees in Germany who have converted to Christianity are still subject to violent physical and verbal attacks from Muslim refugees.
Migrants rest on beds at an improvised temporary shelter in a sports hall in Hanau, Germany September 22, 2015. Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Refugees in Germany who have converted to Christianity are still subject to violent physical and verbal attacks from Muslim refugees.

Reports revealed the attacks have increased since 2015, and even with lesser refugees recently being settled in the country, Christian converts still suffer from discrimination from Muslim asylum seekers, according to Deutsche Welle.

Muslim refugees reportedly harass Christian refugee converts with insults and accusations. At times, the Christians are assaulted with knives; at other times, they are threatened with death. For instance, the words "It's time to kill the non-believers" could be seen painted on the wall of a Christian refugee.

In some cases, the death threats were actually carried out, like what happened to a 38-year-old Afghan mother who was stabbed to death by a "very religious" Afghan man.

Discrimination against converts in the use of facilities like showers and bathrooms were also practiced. For example, the entrances to the facilities would have words like "The impure cannot enter," Deutsche Welle said.

In 2016, Open Doors, a nonprofit organization that helps persecuted Christians worldwide, released the results of a survey conducted among 743 Christian refugees in German asylum centers. The survey respondents were refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and other countries.

According to the report, 617 of the 743 respondents were assaulted multiple times, 416 were subjected to violent attacks, 314 received death threats and 44 were sexually assaulted.

In addition, 674 respondents said the attacks were carried out against them by Muslims who were also refugees in the asylum center. Other respondents said the Muslim guards assaulted them.

Interviews conducted among the respondents showed that the attacks were religiously motivated.

"Fifty-six percent spoke about physical attacks and 83 percent of those who we questioned admitted that they were attacked several times," Open Doors spokesman Ado Greeve told Deutsche Welle.

Leaders of Christian churches in the country are aware that such assaults happen. The German Bishops' Conference and the Evangelical Church in Heinrich-Bedford Strohm, for example, said there have been reports of "intimidation and violence" against Christian refugee converts. However, the churches generally dismissed these as isolated incidents.

The Open Doors report was also criticized as focusing on isolated cases, which Greeve denied. Clarifying that the organization never presented this information as a representative survey, he emphasized the fact that these things are happening and should be addressed.

"The isolated case theory has been disproved," he said. "How many affected refugees do we need so we do not treat these as isolated cases anymore? Five hundred? One thousand?" 

Tags : Germany, Germany refugees, Germany Christian refugees, Germany Christian refugee converts, Germany Christian refugee converts attacked by Muslim refugees, Christian refugees assaulted by Muslim refugees, Open Doors