GERMANY – Hundreds of Christian refugees sexually abused and beaten by Muslims in German camps


Hundreds of Christian refugees have been sexually abused and beaten by Muslims in migrant camps across Germany, a shock new report from a coalition of Christian groups reveals. Most of the abuse took place in the deferral states of Berlin, Hesse and North-Rhine-Westphalia. 

743 Christians and 10 Yazidis were the victims of religious motivated attacks between February and September 2016. Some of victims were young children aged five to 12 years old. Of the 743 attacks, 42 per cent experienced death threats, 83 per cent underwent multiple assaults and 6 per cent were sexually assaulted. 

Lebanon trip May 2016  Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop Issam John Darwish of Furzol Zahle and the Bekka and a group photo of Syrian refugees being served at the ACN sponsored “Saint John the Merciful Table” – a humanitarian feeding program in Zahle LEBANON / ZAHLEH-MLC 16/00023 Humanitarian Feeding program " Saint John the Merciful Table "for Syrian refugees in Zahle area and Bekaa Valley (01/ 2016 - 06/ 2016)

“The situation of Christian refugees in German refugee shelters is still unbearable. As a minority they are discriminated against, beaten up by and receive death threats from Muslim refugees and partly by the Muslim staff (security, interpreters, volunteers) on grounds of their religion,” the report says. 91 per cent of Christians and Yazidis surveyed accused Muslim migrants of carrying out the violent attacks, with 28 per cent accusing camp guards. It comes just five months after an Open Doors study found more than 80 per cent of Christian refugees in Germany feel abandoned with a huge majority suffering attacks, abuse or other forms of harassment in reception centres since arriving in the country between February and April 2016.

The Christian groups believe attacks on Christians are even more widespread than the number of reported incidents. The latest figures are “the tip of the iceberg” according to Christian advocacy charity Open Doors. The actual number of attacks could be in the thousands with just 17 per cent of those surveyed reporting the crimes to police. Many did not report the attacks to the authorities out of fear. 

The report found: “The highest risk in participating in the survey was taken by the converts from Islam to Christianity; according to the Koran their change of faith is considered as a crime worthy of the death penalty, therefore they are explicitly in danger.”

Iraq Trip, April 2016 St Joseph Medical Clinic, Erbil, Iraq served by Sisters of the Holy Cross - Sr Noka Kottackal and Sr Seraphine Varghese and Sr Jaisy Joseph. Christian and Muslim refugees and also poor local get medical help here:  IRAQ / NATIONAL 16/00309  Financial aid for treatment of IDP's with chronical problems at St Joseph's Clinic (July - September 2016)

One convert from Iraq was moved to another centre after other refugees threatened to kill him. He said: “The Muslims in the house discovered that I am Christian because I was reading the Bible. I received death threats. They wanted me to convert back to Islam.“ When the manager of the facility said he was unable to protect him, the Christian convert reported the death threat to a social worker who then wrote a report. As death threats increased, he feared for his life but the interpreter tried to trivialise the threats and conceal them from the social welfare department. Eventually he was moved into other accommodation because the facility was unable to ensure his safety if he remained there.

The documented cases in the report confirm that the situation of Christian refugees in German refugee shelters is still unbearable. Not enough is being done to safeguard Christians.  German migrant housing centres must do more to protect Christians from attacks with are said to “occur frequently and nationwide” at the hands of some Muslims in the camps. The report urges the German authorities to provide separate accommodation for Christians, Yazidis and other at-risk minorities and to increase the number of non-Muslim guards at migrant centres.

 The report states: “There must be no more ‘integration experiments’ at the expense of Christian refugees and other religious minorities in German asylum and reception centres.”

The survey was conducted by Aid to the Church in Need, Open Doors, Action on Behalf of Persecuted Christians and the Needy (AVC), International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) and Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany (ZOCD). The majority of the refugees surveyed come from Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. 

ACN Malta