Christian refugees face death threats from Muslims in camps, say German churches

Christian refugees face discrimination and even death threats at the hands of Muslims in German refugee centres, according to a joint statement issued by the country's evangelical and Catholic Churches.

Syrian children in Germany are offered food and protection by local churches.Reuters

Cardinal Marx, chair of German Bishops' Conference and Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, head of the Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), united to condemn the attacks on Christians and other religious minorities in camps.

The statement urges protection for minority groups in refugee camps, specifically Christians and Yazidis.

The two churches have conducted a survey together across their dioceses and regions to highlight the Church's role in helping refugees. In a series of recommendations, the Church leaders suggest how authorities could ensure peace within camps.

Germany received more than one million refugees and migrants in 2015, the highest in the country's figure. In the first half of 2016, 222,200 entered Germany, according to figures released by the Interior Ministry.

This dramatic fall is partly due to a U-turn in approach by Chancellor Angela Merkel. She initially opened the country's borders and allowed anyone to enter but backtracked on that policy in the wake of heavy criticism within Germany, whose authorities are overwhelmed by the situation.

The numbers arriving have also been reduced by the deal between the EU and Turkey to deport anyone who has illegally arrived in Greece.