Thousands of Muslim Refugees Suddenly Flocking to Jesus?05-26-2016
Scores of Muslims are reportedly turning to Christianity in Europe.
A report by The Daily Beast claims thousands of Muslim refugees () living in countries like Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, are converting to Christianity and getting baptized.
The pastor of a German congregation in Berlin told the online publication that the conversions were “a gift from God” and said 1,200 Muslims, mainly from Afghanistan and Iran, have embraced the Christian faith in the last three years.
Earlier this year, Albert Babajan, pastor of a Pentecostal congregation in Hamburg, Germany, said many refugees escaping from Muslim-dominated countries expressed their disappointment about Islam.
One convert told a local Germany newspaper, “In Iran I began to look into various religions. Then I really asked myself why I live all the time in fear.”
One Persian-speaking congregation claimed more than 600 people got baptized this year alone. Benjamin, an Iranian convert to Christianity, was one those who got baptized at the church during a recent Sunday service.
He told German television ARD, “Today my new life begins. Now I belong to Jesus.”
Muslims who convert and leave Islam face a very real potential for violence and even death. A 20-year-old Afghan, who arrived in Germany late last year and converted to Christianity, told NPR he was fearful about being deported back to Afghanistan.
“If my country were safe, that wouldn’t be a problem,” Rahimi told the reporter. “But it isn’t, and if I return, my life will be in danger.”
According to the United Nations, more than 9 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war started in March 2011.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that more than 3 million have fled to Syria’s immediate neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. More than 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria.
Since 2015, more than 150,000 Syrians have made the journey to Europe and declared asylum there.
The migrant influx has been controversial on many levels, including demands by many Europeans for a ban on Muslim refugees entering the continent. Several prominent European politicians have even expressed that only Christian refugees should be accepted.
In light of this, some worry this is forcing Muslims to convert to Christianity in order to gain asylum in European countries.
Gottfried Martens pastors the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Berlin, Germany. Martens has seen scores of Muslim come to his church and express interest in the tenants of Christianity.
He admits some come in order to improve their chances of staying in the country.
“I know there are – again and again – people coming here because they have some kind of hope regarding their asylum,” Martens told The Associated Press late last year.
But for Martens, the motivation is secondary.
“I am inviting them to join us because I know that whoever comes here will not be left unchanged,” he said.
The German news magazine Stern, recently did a feature story profiling Muslim conversions to Christianity among refugees.
In it, the publication showed dozens of former Muslims lining up by a lake to get baptized.
According to The Daily Beast, one Iranian told Stern, “I’ve been looking all my life for peace and happiness, but in Islam, I have not found them.”
Another convert said he found in Christianity the love he was missing in his former faith.
“In Islam, we always lived in fear,” he said. “Fear God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. But Christ is a God of love.”