40,000 non-Muslim migrants harassed in German centers over their religion – activists
Up to 40,000 Christian and other non-Muslim refugees, currently residing in migrant centers in Germany, are being discriminated against and harassed by other asylum seekers, and even guards because of their religion, human rights groups have said.
The groups, who presented the results of the survey at a press conference, said they interviewed at least 231 Christian migrants, who had mostly arrived from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
Of them, at least 88 percent said they were harassed by Muslim migrants due to their religion, according to Open Doors Germany group, a mission supporting the persecuted Christians that took part in the survey.
Also, nearly 50 percent of those interviewed said they had been discriminated against and harassed by guards in refugee centers. The majority of guards in these centers are Muslim, according to German media.
Additional surveys of the 231 Christian migrants showed that 42 percent of them experienced insults, 37 percent claimed to have received physical injuries, and 32 percent even had death threats.
The document is only “the tip of the iceberg,” said Open Doors Germany head Markus Rode, adding there is “fear and panic” among the non-Muslim newcomers, Deutsche Welle reports.
According to AVC (Action on Behalf of Persecuted Christians and the Needy), who also took part in the survey, up to 40,000 Christian refugees and members of other religious minorities are being harassed for their religious beliefs in German centers, Bild reports.
Women, who have been rescued from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) slavery in the Syrian city of Rakka, say “they are still unprotected” and even meet their tormentors again in the refugee camps, Karl Hafen, from the International Society for Human Rights based in Frankfurt, said.
“I've seen [Christian] families who returned [home] voluntarily because of threats,” Paulus Kurt from the Center for Oriental Christians in Germany (ZOCD) said.
Christian refugee Fadi S. from Syria, who took part in the conference, said when he arrived in a German refugees camp, he was “shocked” to encounter Muslim fundamentalists from whom he had actually fled.
German legislation is currently unable to handle the situation, according to the human rights organizations. They called on Berlin authorities to house Christian refugees separately from Muslims. Also those being persecuted should be given separate accommodation, the groups added.
An overwhelming 1.1 million asylum seekers arrived in the country in 2015, and more are to come in 2016.
German citizens are concerned about the future, as 81 percent of the country’s citizens say the migrant crisis is “out of control” under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s authority, according to a February poll.