Christians living in 'fear and panic' in German refugee centres, seek government protection

A migrant takes a selfie with German Chancellor Angela Merkel outside a refugee camp near the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees after registering at Berlin's Spandau district, Germany on Sept. 10, 2015.Reuters

German authorities have been urged to immediately address the plight of Christians and other non-Muslim migrants in refugee centres as new reports reveal that up to 40,000 of these non-Muslim migrants are being harassed for their faith.

Human right organisations, including the German-based Open Doors, released a survey this week finding that Christians and other non-Muslims who have arrived in Germany from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are living in ''fear and panic,'' and are in need of urgent protection from authorities, CBN News reports.

Of the 231 Christian migrants surveyed, 32 percent said they received death threats, 37 percent suffered from physical injury and 42 percent reported insults.

Eighty-eight percent of those surveyed said they'd been targeted by other migrants because of their religion, the report said, citing Germany's state-run broadcaster.

A large percentage of the respondents also accused prison guards of discriminating against religious minorities or harassing them.

Christian refugees are also being forced to take part in Islamic prayer and threatened with harm if they refuse to comply, according to a pastor from Berlin.

"Our political leaders have not taken appropriate measures to protect the Christian minority," Open Doors said in a statement. "The impression that this dramatic development is being suppressed and ignored has solidified."

Markus Rode, head of the German-based organisation Open Doors said the survey was made for the people and the authorities to know that harassment and intimidation are truly happening inside the refugee centres and that urgent solution is needed to provide Christians and other non-Muslims in these centres with separate housing and non-Muslim guards.

"We're doing this on behalf of many volunteers who feel intimidated, as well as at the request of the police, who aren't allowed to say that this is happening," Rode told a German newspaper.

The survey—which documented violence against Christians fleeing war-torn countries like Iraq, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan—was conducted in cooperation with Kirche in Not, the Action on Behalf of Persecuted Christians and the Needy, and the Central Council for Oriental Christians in Germany.

In 2015, more than a million migrants, mostly Muslim men from North Africa and the Middle East, entered Germany. In January 2016, the country took in a total of 91,671 migrants—an average of around 3,000 migrants each day, Gatestone Institute reports.