Public Radio International, one of the US’s major producers and distributors of public radio programming, has interviewed Christians in German refugee centres – fleeing extremist violence in Iraq and Syria – who have reported intimidation from other refugees.
Their programme built on research by Christian charity Open Doors Germany, which interviewed 200 Christian migrants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this year. It found that 88 per cent reported being targeted by other migrants because of their religion. Most faced insults and physical attacks and some even death threats.
One Christian refugee, Tarek Bakhous, told PRI he was the only Christian put in a house of nine devout Muslims; they then told him he should leave because he didn’t share their views on drinking alcohol.
Another, Wassim Awad, also placed in a mostly Muslim house, overheard some of his housemates boasting that they weren’t fleeing persecution, but were in Europe to spread political Islam. When he told the police what he’d overheard he was told “It’s Germany. They have a right to free speech. There’s nothing we can do”.
Christians living in the migrant camps of northern France have reported similar harassment and violence from Muslims with extremist views who were also living in the camp.