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Protestants and Catholics denounce situation of Christian refugees

German Bishops' Conference, and the Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) issued a joint statement about the harassment and attacks Christian refugees suffer.

SOURCES DBK, Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus GERMANY 14 JULY 2016 18:07 h GMT+1
A Muslim refugee prays in a shelter in Hanau / Reuters

The Protestant Evangelical and Catholic churches in Germany denounced on Monday the attacks, discrimination and even death threats Christian refugees suffer by Muslim residents in refugee shelters.



Cardinal Marx, chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, and Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, head of the Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), issued a joint statement about the situation of Christian asylum seekers and members of religious minorities in these centers. Read the statement (German)



 



INTERNAL SURVEYS



To gain a more accurate picture of the situation, the German Bishops' Conference and the EKD have made surveys among their dioceses and regional churches, and with church organizations working in the accommodation of refugees.



The statement also proposed a series of recommendations to improve the conditions for a peaceful coexistence in the refugee centres and camps. The proposals are aimed both at those responsible in refugee camps, as well as to federal, state and local authorities.



 



MUSLIMS CONVERTED TO CHRISTIANITY



It is difficult to get a clear picture of what the situation is of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity. According to the reports, some Christians said they fear for their lives if they talk about their beliefs or openly practice their religion.



 



Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, head of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)



The situation is particularly complex in some hostels in Berlin, where Christians have denounced discrimination by private security personnel (many times Muslims) or interpreters also responsible for handling documentation.

 



AROUND TWO MILLION REFUGEES



Germany received around 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015, a record figure in the recent history of the country. Nearly 438,000 refugees were hosted in 1992 during the Balkan conflict.



These figures are a social and logistical challenge for the country, whose authorities are overwhelmed by the situation.



The number of refugees has decreased since the begining of the year, following the closure of the so-called Balkan route. The agreement between the EU and Turkey to deport the refugees who illegally arrive in Greece has been another key factor.



According to figures released last Friday by the Interior Ministry, in the first half of 2016 222,200 asylum seekers arrived in Germany.


 

 


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