Christian refugees in Germany hide faith for fear of being targeted by Muslims

Christian converts taking refuge in Germany are forced to hide their faith because of fear from Muslim refugees.

Beds for migrants, separated by impromptu partition screens, are set up inside a Protestant church in Oberhausen, Germany, October 30, 2015. | REUTERS / Ina Fassbender

"If they find out, I will be fair game," said 33-year-old Iranian who goes by the alias Dena Kasravi, according to Express. "Everyone will have the right to destroy me. Some Muslims even think it is their obligation. I can't get rid of the fear."

Kasravi, according to the report, attended illegal Bible groups in Iran; but even in Germany, she is still not able to openly express her faith. She and the other Christian refugees in her camp do not read the Bible in front of Muslims nor do they wear crosses, and the church they set up has to be kept a secret. There are still times, however, when they cannot escape questioning, such as when she did not put her name on the list of those who were to participate in the Ramadan. She had to lie and say she had a thyroid problem, thus could not fast.

Guards have also reportedly advised them to keep their Christian faith to themselves because, should it become known, they could not protect them.

"The denouncing of your faith is heavily punished in Iran," said a refugee who wished to remain anonymous. "Therefore converting to another religion was one of the few reasons Iranians would get asylum in Germany."

According to a report by Christian organization Open Doors in May, of the 231 Christian refugees they interviewed in Germany early this year, 96 people or 41 percent received insults, 86 of them or 27 percent experienced bodily harm, 73 individuals or 31 percent received death threats to themselves or their families, 62 respondents or 26 percent were harrassed by loud religious music or prayer, and there were also incidents of sexual abuse, punches, pushing, and spitting. Seventy-five percent said the incidents happened repeatedly.

"At this point I must say that I really did not know that by coming Germany, and only because of my faith, that I would be harassed here as much as in Iran," said a refugee living in a German shelter, as quoted by Gatestone Institute.

It has been estimated that more than 1 million refugees are staying in the country, and harassment because of religion is an ongoing issue that has yet to be resolved.