A German pastor held a Muslim funeral for a 17-year-old jihadist who fought and died for the Islamic State in Syria inside the Protestant St. Pauli Church in Hamburg, drawing public resentment including some of his colleagues in faith.
But Sieghard Wilm wasn't bothered, saying whatever is the sin committed cannot diminish the human value of anyone regardless of his belief, race and social status
This was not the first time Wilm's church drew controversy. In 2013 the church removed its pews and converted itself into a migrant centre for Muslims from Africa.
Relatives of the terrorist, named "Florent," in Hamburg believed fellow ISIS fighters executed him because of his waning support to their cause. The audio he sent back to Germany stating that he became disillusioned with the group, could have triggered the infighting and his execution, Breitbart report said.
Wilm said he knew many would disagree with his action, but he had able to deal with a much worse scenario than of Florent's case in his life as a pastor.
"We cannot deny this is a difficult situation, but a man remains a man. Even a person who has offended against someone. And I can tell you as a pastor, I have also laid to rest more killers," he said justifying his action.
Vatican itself promotes compassion even to members of ISIS despite of the terrorists' atrocities against Christians and Muslim Yazidis in Iraq and Syria. Converting them to Christianity, if asked, is also a sacred duty of a Christian
Florent immigrated to Germany from Cameroon with his Christian family. But at 14 he converted to Islam and became Salafist. He was among the 65 young Muslims in Hamburg that travelled to Syria to fight for the ISIS, and only 15 of them managed to return to home, Breitbart report said.
Wilm said he knew Florent personally, but had lost contact with him since he converted to Salafism.
He said because the ISIS militant's family are Christians it is more safe and appropriate for them to mourn for their dead at the Christian church rather at the mosque.
He also contended that the Muslim service would be a good opportunity for "learning and respect among religions."