Christian Refugees in Austria Harassed and Threatened

Country: Austria

Date of incident: June 5, 2016

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Islamist / Private



Christian refugees in various accommodation centers in Austria endured abuse at the hands of Muslim fellow refugees, including being forced to wake early in the morning to pray, being told they were impure, having belongings stolen, and instances of physical violence.

According to a Christian Solidarity International report, and testimony of Christian refugees at the Syrisch-Orthodoxe Kirche von Antiochien in Österreich: 
  • Every day they were forced by Muslim refugees to wake at 6am and pray with them. They were constantly told how wrong the Christian faith is and that they should leave their faith and their families and convert to Islam.

  • They were subjected to physical violence when they defended their beliefs. They were forbidden to read the bible and if they refused to put the book aside, they were assaulted.

  • During Ramadan they were forbidden from even smelling their food because it was sinful. They were constantly called “the unbelievers”.

  • They had to hide their personal belongings under their pillows for fear of their things being stolen.

  • Christians were forbidden to learn German and were given no rights.

  • One Christian refugee collapsed and no one helped him because he was "impure and shouldn’t be touched".  

  • Muslims in Austrian refugee camps said “We only listen to the Koran. We only want your money, because this is what God has decided. The same goes for your women. We have come to conquer Europe“.

  • Muslim refugees forced a camp director to remove the cross which hung in the dining hall.

  • In order to find a safe place for them to stay, Christian refugees connect with Christian organisations to help them find alternative accommodation or they simply wait to be granted asylum.

Source: Christian Solidarity International and testimony of Christian refugees at the Syrisch-Orthodoxe Kirche von Antiochien in Österreich