Widespread abuse of Christian refugees largely ignored by German authorities
Christians refugees have been afraid to seek shelter in official refugee camps in the Middle East because they were attacked and even killed by Muslims while camp authorities did nothing to help them. Now they are also being psychologically abused, physically mistreated and denied food at Muslim-dominated camps in Germany. There have been numerous reports of violence in the refugee centres, but local authorities have refused to acknowledge that religious differences fuel tension in the camps. The worst abuses have occurred in Berlin and other cities.
“We’ve heard much about the nasty treatment of Christians, and we’re compiling a report to push politicians into action,” said Rachel Marsuk, a spokesperson for Open Doors but “the scale of this problem has been covered up or played down.”
Stefan Forner, speaking on behalf of Berlin’s archdiocese, stated that German camp administrators had failed to recognise, or were ignoring, that Christians in particular were being persecuted. “Some people don’t even want to talk about Christians, fearing Muslims may have a problem with this,” Forner said, adding “When something bad happens, it must have consequences and not be hushed up”.
It is crucial for the Church to help resolve this problem “since many Christian refugees are too scared to speak out”. Church officials need to help those dealing with refugees to understand the situation of Christians in Syria and other countries of origin and be aware of the potential hazards of putting all the refugees together.
Stuttgart’s city council recently voted to provide better accommodation for Christian refugees following continued attacks by Muslim occupants in local asylum centres. There were reports of Bibles and crucifixes being vandalized, amid other stories of discrimination against Christians. Officials in Stuttgart, Germany decided to move 30 Middle Eastern Christian immigrants transported to a new asylum centre after several clashes with Muslim immigrants staying in the same area.
The decision to move the Christians came after a petition with 17,000 signatures demanding the Christians be protected: ‘We call on the city to make it possible for them to have a communal place for Christians and protect them from further threats and attacks which they are suffering in the central gathering place for asylum seekers,” the petition said.