“Growing concern for German churches: Muslim refugees harassing Christians,” by Tom Heneghan, Deseret News, June 3, 2016:
Germany’s refugee crisis is challenging the country’s main religious groups as they try to balance a welcoming attitude to the mostly Muslim migrants and concern for the welfare of the minority Christians among them.
Increasingly, accounts of Muslim migrants ganging up on Christians and other minorities in refugee shelters have raised concerns.
Germany is dealing with an influx of about 1 million newcomers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Scattered media reports since last fall have spoken of radical Muslims harassing Christians and other religious minorities, making them feel threatened and under pressure to convert to Islam.
The issue got national attention in early May when five minority rights groups held a news conference in Berlin to present what they said was widespread persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in refugee centers.
Open Doors Germany, a group affiliated with the international Open Doors movement to help persecuted Christians, presented a report that said 88 percent of the 231 Christian refugees they interviewed reported having suffered religiously motivated persecution in the form of insults, death threats and physical and sexual attacks.
Some felt pressure to convert and reported that Muslims were harassing them by playing loud recordings of Quran chanting. Almost half of them said they were mistreated by security guards, who are mostly Muslim foreigners who speak the refugees’ languages.
Markus Rode, the group’s chairman, said there was an “atmosphere of fear and panic” among Christian refugees and the mainstream churches were ignoring the problem.
“I really didn’t know that after coming to Germany I would be harassed because of my faith in the very same way as back in Iran,” the report quoted one refugee as saying.
Another group, Action for Persecuted Christians, estimated that 40,000 refugees in Germany, mostly Christians, were victims of religious persecution.
“These are not isolated cases. I don’t know of any refugee shelter from Garmisch to Hamburg where we have not found such cases,” said Paulus Kurt from the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany….