Germany’s federal police recorded almost 100 attacks on Christians or Christian institutions in Germany in 2017, with most violent incidents occurring among asylum seekers living in refugee centres, reports Deutsche Welle.
The figure of 97 anti-Christian hate crimes was leaked by Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) ahead of official statistics being released later in the year.
It is the first time the BKA has collected anti-Christian crime figures in Germany. The only comparable statistic comes from Open Doors, an NGO that tracks the persecution of Christians worldwide, which recorded 743 cases of anti-Christian attacks in German refugee centres over eight months in 2016.
German politicians expressed shock at the figures. “Anyone who wants to live here must distance themselves from any anti-Christian disposition, otherwise, they are simply not welcome,” said Joachim Herrmann of the Christian Social Union.
Ansgar Heveling of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party said the problem needed to be dealt with in the same way that “anti-Semitic attacks are rightly being dealt with at the moment”.
Meanwhile, German prosecutors have demanded a sentence of life in prison for an Afghan asylum seeker accused of killing a woman after she converted to Christianity. The 38-year-old Afghan woman was repeatedly stabbed in front of her two children, aged five and 11, in April 2017 in Prien am Chiemsee, a town in southern Germany. The woman, who had lived in Germany since 2011 and had been described as a “model of integration”, was a member of a Protestant church and supported an Afghan Bible study group.