Date of incident: January 16, 2017
Category: Government Restrictions
Attack against: Faith
Area of case: Governmental
Germany’s Ministry for Immigration and Refugees (BAMF) rejected many applications for asylum from Iranian and Afghan converts from Islam to Christianity, following “kangaroo court”-style hearings as to whether the conversions are genuine, according to a Berlin pastor.
Rev. Gottfried Martens, who has baptised more than 1,000 former Muslims, in a letter to supporters of his ministry, accused the “almost exclusively Muslim translators” in the hearings of deliberately falsely translating the converts’ responses to jeopardise their applications.
Martens, pastor of the Lutheran Dreieinigkeits Gemeinde (Trinity Community), criticised the ways in which officials investigated whether a conversion was genuine. “Questions are put such as the names of the two sons in the parable of the Prodigal Son, or what Martin Luther died of, or the occasion of Queen Margarethe of Denmark’s recent visit to Wittenberg,” he said.
In some hearings, Martens said asylum applicants “repeatedly undergo being mocked and laughed at when they relate how it is important to them that Jesus Christ died for their sins on the Cross”. Many German Ministry officials “are manifestly clueless about the situation of Christians in Iran and Afghanistan, and, worse yet, they are utterly clueless concerning questions relating to the Christian faith,” Martens continued.
Converts from Islam to Christianity in countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Af ghanistan face rejection by their communities and in some cases death threats, since they have, in the eyes of Islam, committed the ultimate treachery of apostasy. These criticisms echo those made in 2016 of the questioning faced by Christian asylum seekers in the UK.
Source: World Watch Monitor