By Felix N. Codilla III , Christian Post Contributor
Muslim refugees are converting to Christianity in droves based on reports coming in from European churches. While there are concerns that some conversions were motivated by the desire to gain asylum, many former Muslims claim that true belief prompted them to follow Christ.
In Germany where almost 900,000 asylum seekers arrived last year, a Trinity church in Berlin has grown from 150 to 700 members in the past two years because of Muslim converts. Mass baptisms of Muslims have become a regular sight at municipal pools in Berlin and Hamburg.
In the first three months of 2016, Austria’s Catholic Church received 300 applications for adult baptism, 70 percent of them Muslims. The Anglican Church in Liverpool, U.K. now has a Persian service attended by 100-140 worshippers every week, The Guardian reported.
“A lot of them come to Germany and think, here I can choose my religion and I want to choose a religion of freedom,” Matthias Linke, pastor of Evangelical-Freikirchlichen Gemeinde in Berlin told Independent UK. “For many Iranians that I’ve baptized, Christianity is the religion of freedom,” he added.
Questions are raised over whether the conversions are genuine or are just being used to avail of assistance from churches’ refugee sponsorship programs. Ministers are vouching on the sincerity of the asylum seekers, saying leaving Islam for another religion is life-threatening.
Abu Radwan, who hails from Syria, insisted that the $200 monthly assistance he receives from the evangelical church he and his family now attend in Beirut is not the motivation behind their conversion. He even risked his life for his faith when he was stabbed two weeks ago by assailants from his tribe, according to USA Today.
Iranian refugee Mohammad Eghtedarian, who now works as a curate at Liverpool Cathedral, sees no point in overthinking the matter, saying that the possibility of refugees using Christianity to expedite their asylum is no different from parents in Western countries going to church to send their children to good schools.
“Jesus Christ knew Judas was going to betray him but he still washed his feet. Thank God it is not my job to judge them,” he said of asylum seekers. “When we do confirmations, we work hard to make sure the person is serious. We all have mixed motives,” he continued. “The only thing I can do is see if people are still there a year later – and often they are,” he added.
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