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Mon Sep 7, 2015, 05:49 PM

At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves


An Iranian asylum-seeker wearing a Christian shirt waits to be baptized in the Trinity Church in Berlin, Aug. 30, 2015. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in the leafy Berlin neighborhood. Most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity, but there’s no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)



Mohammed is now Martin — no longer Muslim, but Christian. Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago. He is one of hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers who have converted to Christianity at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighborhood.

Like Zonoobi, most say true belief prompted their embrace of Christianity. But there's no overlooking the fact that the decision will also greatly boost their chances of winning asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.

Martens recognizes that some convert in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany — but for the pastor motivation is unimportant. Many, he said, are so taken by the Christian message that it changes their lives. And he estimates that only about 10 percent of converts do not return to church after christening.

Being Christian alone does not help an applicant, and Chancellor Angela Merkel went out of her way this week to reiterate that Islam "belongs in Germany." But in Afghanistan and Iran, for example, conversion to Christianity by a Muslim could be punished by death or imprisonment, and it is therefore unlikely that Germany would deport converted Iranian and Afghan refugees back home.


There's always a catch.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/0550c14ba3024c06820218f79bc6cf07/berlin-church-muslim-refugees-converting-droves

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Reply At a Berlin church, Muslim refugees converting in droves (Original post)
Lordquinton Sep 2015 OP
cleanhippie Sep 2015 #1
Lordquinton Sep 2015 #4
Dorian Gray Sep 2015 #11
longship Sep 2015 #2
Lordquinton Sep 2015 #5
Hestia Sep 2015 #3
Lordquinton Sep 2015 #6
Leontius Sep 2015 #8
cleanhippie Sep 2015 #9
rug Sep 2015 #10
AtheistCrusader Sep 2015 #7

Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 06:01 PM

1. If it's that easy to change ones entire belief system to ensure their safety...

Why not just drop the nonsense altogether and allow reason to take the lead?


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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 11:10 PM

4. Religion is complicated isn't it?

They are fleeing from members of their own religion to countries that are not of their religion because the neighboring countries of their religion are refusing to accept them.

Here they are converting hoping that that will help them fit in better, be more accepted/allow them to claim asylum on the grounds that they will be killed if they are sent back due to apostasy laws.

The cynic in me could draw a lot of conclusion from that mess of religion, but these are real people who are fleeing a warzone and doing what they can to stay alive. If there is any political background things going on, then they are being used as pawns.

Don't want to get further into it cause this isn't the place, but the whole situation is rage inducing, and various religious groups are making hay over it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 10, 2015, 09:29 AM

11. atheism

may be so far beyond their world view they couldn't commit to it. Perhaps they are vague believers in God. Christianity and Islam have enough similarities to be a comfortable fit for them. Atheism might be too far a reach, or they may consider it "more" blasphemous.

Regardless, they are escaping war torn places and trying to find a new home. There could be a million reasons why they are converting.

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 06:07 PM

2. Poor souls!

Jump from one hot pan into another.

Too bad.

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 11:11 PM

5. I keep seeing them labeled migrants

but they aren't, they are refugees fleeing a religious war, thus why it's relatable here (I mean, that and the whole converting to get better chances of not being rejected)

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 08:53 PM

3. It's almost like when Jews & Muslims converted in Spain during the Middle Ages isn't it?

I'm by no means saying these aren't real conversions but isn't Germany by and large secular, along with Northern Europe? It will be interesting to read in a decade if they are still following their new faith.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Converso

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Response to Hestia (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 11:14 PM

6. Almost

But these are actively fleeing from another region hoping to get better chances of not being sent back.

The priest in the article even says only about 10% stay converted, but that the whole process changes them forever. Probably more of a "Hey, remember that time we were so desperate not to be sent back to that hellhole that we converted to Evangelical Christianity? What crazy times, eh 'Martin'?"

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 8, 2015, 01:37 PM

8. No the priest does not say what you claim

 

He says only about 10% do not return to church after conversion.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 8, 2015, 03:10 PM

9. They're the lucky ones, then.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #6)

Tue Sep 8, 2015, 05:20 PM

10. He's not a priest.

 

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Response to Lordquinton (Original post)

Mon Sep 7, 2015, 11:17 PM

7. Where there's a whip, there's a way, apparently.

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