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German Pastor Says Government Unfairly Deports Christian Refugees

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Dr. Gottfried Martens, a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin, says the government is rejecting almost all applications for asylum from most of the church's Iranian refugee members and many Afghan refugee members as well.  Many have waited years in Germany for the government to hear their cases and are now receiving deportation notices.

In a recent letter to friends and supporters, Martens called the hearings "kangaroo courts in which our congregational members and candidates for baptism have absolutely no chance of presenting what is important to them."

Martens also said that Muslim translators are falsely translating the refugees' comments about their faith.  In Germany, converting to Christianity means persecution if a refugee is sent home. That likelihood greatly increases their chances of winning asylum.

The Daily Mail wrote about the situation, explaining "if the migrant's words are misquoted during their asylum hearing it can make their conversion look fabricated...meaning it is rejected and they are deported."

As CBN News previously reported, Martens has also expressed concern in the past that some Muslims come to his church and express interest in Christianity in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany.

Martens is also concerned about the on-going harassment of Christian migrants living in German refugee shelters.  He said that in the last year "many of them suffered violent attacks from Muslim residents of their institutional homes and from Muslim watchmen once they learned of their conversion."

Trinity Lutheran is known for its work with Iranian and Afghan refugees.  On its website it says it's the fastest growing Lutheran church congregation in Germany.

CBN News reported on the harassment of Christian refugees in Germany last year.  Open Doors, a German-based organization, has documented attacks against Christian refugees there by Muslim migrants.



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About The Author


Heather Sells covers wide-ranging stories for CBN News that include religious liberty, ministry trends, immigration, and education. She’s known for telling personal stories that capture the issues of the day, from the border sheriff who rescues migrants in the desert to the parents struggling with a child that identifies as transgender. In the last year, she has reported on immigration at the Texas border, from Washington, D.C., in advance of the Dobbs abortion case, at crisis pregnancy centers in Massachusetts, and on sexual abuse reform at the annual Southern Baptist meeting in Anaheim