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Muslim migrants are converting to Christianity in droves at this German church watch

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    BERLIN — Mohammed Ali Zonoobi bends his head as the priest pours holy water over his black hair. "Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds?" pastor Gottfried Martens asks the Iranian refugee. "Will you break away from Islam?"



    "Yes," Zonoobi fervently replies. Spreading his hands in blessing, Martens then baptizes the man "in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost."

    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.

    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% of converts do not return to church after christening.

    "I know there are — again and again — people coming here because they have some kind of hope regarding their asylum," Martens said. "I am inviting them to join us because I know that whoever comes here will not be left unchanged."

    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.

    None will openly admit to converting in order to help their asylum chances. To do so could result in rejection of their asylum bid and deportation as Christian converts. Several candidates for baptism at Martens' church would not give their names out of fear of repercussions for their families back home.

    Most said their decision was based on belief, but one young Iranian woman said she was convinced most people had joined the church only to improve their chances for asylum.

    Congregation member Vesam Heydari initially applied for asylum in Norway and converted there in 2009. But his case was rejected because the Norwegian authorities did not believe he would be persecuted as a Christian in Iran, so he moved to Germany to seek refugee status here — and is awaiting a decision. He criticized many of the other Iranian church members, saying they were making it much harder for "real, persecuted Christians" like himself to get approved for asylum.

    "The majority of Iranians here are not converting out of belief," Heydari said. "They only want to stay in Germany."

    Meanwhile, as other churches across Germany struggle with dwindling numbers of believers, Martens has seen his congregation swell from 150 just two years to more than 600 parishioners now — with a seemingly unending flow of new refugees finding the way to his congregation. Some come from cities as far away as Rostock on the Baltic Sea, having found out by word-of-mouth that Martens not only baptizes Muslims after a three-month "crash course" in Christianity, but also helps them with asylum pleas.

    Other Christian communities across Germany, among them Lutheran churches in Hannover and the Rhineland, have also reported growing numbers of Iranians converting to Christendom. There are no exact numbers on how many Muslims have converted in Germany in recent years — and they are a tiny minority compared to the country's overall 4 million Muslims. But at least for Berlin, Martens describes the number of conversions as nothing short of a "miracle." And he says he has at least another 80 people — mostly refugees from Iran and a few Afghans — waiting to be baptized.

    Germany is witnessing an unprecedented surge of asylum-seekers this year, with the number of migrants expected to reach 800,000 this year, a fourfold increase on last year.

    Thousands of refugees are making their way this weekend from Hungary to Austria and Germany after officials announced they would allow them to cross the border. On Friday, social media was flooded with images of crowds making their way West.

    Many of the new arrivals come from Muslim countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan. While refugees from civil-war-torn Syria will almost definitely be receiving asylum status, the situation is more complicated for asylum seekers from Iran or Afghanistan, which are seen as more stable. In recent years, roughly 40% to 50% from those two countries have been allowed to stay in the country, with many of those getting only temporary permission to remain.

    Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees said it does not comment on the reasons individual applicants give when they apply for asylum, or on how many people receive refugee status in Germany based on religious persecution.

    Zonoobi, who dressed all in white for his baptism on Sunday, said he had attended secret religious services in Iran ever since friends introduced him to the Bible at age 18. He decided to flee to Germany after several Christian friends were arrested for practicing their religion.

    For Zonoobi and his wife Afsaneh — who since her baptism goes by the name of Katarina — the christening marks a new beginning.

    "Now we are free and can be ourselves," she said. "Most important, I am so happy that our children will have a good future here and can get a good education in Germany."

    http://mashable.com/2015/09/05/refug...-christianity/
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    Should be mandatory.
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    (Original post by Captain Daring)
    Muslims will do anything to stay in Europe. They are despicable !!
    (Original post by Skip_Snip)
    tbh that should be a condition of entry for the "refugees".
    (Original post by LockheedSpooky)
    Should be mandatory.
    (Original post by driftawaay)
    Nope, atheism should be mandatory for them. No more Christianity/Islam, any other bull****.

    So much for western " freedoms" if you're denying people the freedom to choose their own religion....

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    (Original post by The_Internet)
    So much for western " freedoms" if you're denying people the freedom to choose their own religion....

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    And indoctrinating your children to Islam/Christianity from the day they are born is 'freedom to choose your own religion'?
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    (Original post by The_Internet)
    So much for western " freedoms" if you're denying people the freedom to choose their own religion....

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    If they want to follow Islam we should not let them into the country. We are not stopping them from choosing their religion, they can go and be Muslim elsewhere. Muslims force religion on children and then threaten them with death if they leave that is the evil of Islam
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    (Original post by driftawaay)
    Nope, atheism should be mandatory for them. No more Christianity/Islam, any other bull****.
    I agree on that.

    Although I was trolling a tad. I don't believe we can enforce that, but certainly we should be promoting secularism at every chance.

    As soon as they step through the gates, they should be given information about the European way of life and how religion plays a small and diminishing role in it.
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    (Original post by driftawaay)
    And indoctrinating your children to Islam/Christianity from the day they are born is 'freedom to choose your own religion'?
    Clewrly this person chose to become a Christian. He chose to become a Christian. Youre wanting to force people to become atheists. You have a fair point with the whole child being born in to a religion howeber you also advocated for the mandatory "conversion" or "de-conversion" if you like to atheism. That is actually agsinst such freedoms we have in the west

    (Original post by Captain Daring)
    If they want to follow Islam we should not let them into the country. We are not stopping them from choosing their religion, they can go and be Muslim elsewhere. Muslims force religion on children and then threaten them with death if they leave that is the evil of Islam
    Yes you are if youre saying they cant practise islam here and every religious person doee that on their kids. Not just muslims
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    (Original post by The_Internet)
    Clewrly this person chose to become a Christian. He chose to become a Christian. Youre wanting to force people to become atheists. You have a fair point with the whole child being born in to a religion howeber you also advocated for the mandatory "conversion" or "de-conversion" if you like to atheism. That is actually agsinst such freedoms we have in the west



    Yes you are if youre saying they cant practise islam here and every religious person doee that on their kids. Not just muslims
    Don't be silly. He is a Muslim.
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    (Original post by driftawaay)
    Don't be silly. He is a Muslim.
    And you say this because?
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    I'm disgusted at how the Christians see suffering, refugees and the potential for those refugees to be persecuted if they return home Christian and think 'recruitment opportunity'.
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    (Original post by Captain Daring)
    Muslims will do anything to stay in Europe. They are despicable !!
    They're despicable for not wanting to be deported? Right...

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    (Original post by The Free Radical)
    I'm disgusted at how the Christians see suffering, refugees and the potential for those refugees to be persecuted if they return home Christian and think 'recruitment opportunity'.
    Tbh thats something that hapens in most religions
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    (Original post by Captain Daring)
    Muslims will do anything to stay in Europe. They are despicable !!
    Being Muslim doesnt stop you from "staying in Europe" Clearly it is yoy who is so "despicable" if you want to throw away the freedoms we do have here. Why not make Muslims also carry a badge that easily identifies Muslims? Is that your plan?
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    (Original post by The_Internet)
    Tbh thats something that hapens in most religions
    It's deeply sinister and while Christians generally are less militant, I have a noticed a strange culture of opportunism and emotional manipulation which is seen as normal within Christian societies.

    You must have noticed how many junkies become Pentecostals.
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    "Can't send me back now, I'll be killed for apostasy!"

    I can't help but think of the reports that were coming out a few months back of people chucking Christians on the boats overboard if they refused to convert to Islam......
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    (Original post by driftawaay)
    Nope, atheism should be mandatory for them. No more Christianity/Islam, any other bull****.
    Christianity makes sense though when 60% of the population identify as Christians in the UK, while only 25% are atheists.
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    (Original post by driftawaay)
    Nope, atheism should be mandatory for them. No more Christianity/Islam, any other bull****.
    If I'd suffered the way they have I'd be alienated from my beliefs as well.
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    I personally think they are converting so they can stay. If they go back to their countries and people know they've converted , they will get killed. I remember hearing of one guy who became a Christian and refused to come back to Islam in my country and he got killed.
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    Knew they'd be Iranians as soon as I read the title
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    (Original post by The_Internet)
    So much for western " freedoms" if you're denying people the freedom to choose their own religion....

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    i dont think imposing a condition in exchange of asylum is in violation of freedom of religion.

    They are not being prosecuted for their religion. If they do not meet the condition, they can go back, no ones getting hurt for their religion

    or if they insist to remain muslim, they can still come in through the means, as an expatriate, as a student...etc etc
 
 
 
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