Orthodox priest complains to German authorities about harassment of Christians at refugee camps

Source: Interfax-Religion

Moscow, January 12, 2016


Christian refugees are exposed to harassment in the refugee camps in Germany says Hegumen Daniil (Irbits), superior of the St. George the Victorious Monastery in Gotschendorf, a member of the Integration Committee at the German Federal Chancellery.

"Christian refugees from Syria, Eritrea and other countries are exposed to humiliation, manhunts and brutal harassment in the camps for refugees by Muslim neighbors. This also relates to the Yazidi religious minority. There are frequent cases where humiliation comes to injuries and death threats," the priest said in a letter to Federal Minister for Special Affairs and Head of the German Federal Chancellery Peter Altmaier, a copy of which is posted on Father Daniil's social media page.

Former Muslims who convert to Christianity are especially at risk the priest said.

"According to Islamic tradition, they should be punished, because they fell away from Islam. They are exposed to extreme pressure and should fear for their lives because 'renegades' lose any right to life for radical Muslims," the letter said.

Fearing for their lives, many refugees have to spend nights outside the camps, for instance, at the Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Berlin district of Steglitz.

"Many Christians who came from the Middle East are suffering from such strong harassment that they want to go back home, because their situation there seems a lesser evil as compared to the circumstances at the German refugee accommodation centers," the priest said.

The police rarely interfere at all in the settlement of religious conflicts he said.

"We ask you to exert the necessary pressure to ensure the observation of German legislation at the German centers for asylum seekers and to accept the proposals by the clergy of different Christian confessions in Germany to ensure that the Christians will be accommodated separately from Muslims," reads the letter.



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