Christian Today is reporting on the phenomenon occurring in Germany since the rapid influx of Muslim immigrants began months ago which has resulted in hundreds of conversions to Christianity.
Although originally believed to be due to hopes that becoming Christian would improve a migrant’s chances of being granted refugee status and asylum, many experts are now beginning to wonder why the conversions are continuing even after the German government told Muslim immigrants they need not convert to stay.
So why are they continuing to convert?
One example is a 25 year-old Iranian named Silas who is now living in Berlin.
\When asked by Charisma News why he converted, Silas said his spiritual transformation came about after reading a Bible.
“When I started to read the Bible, it changed me. … At first, I didn’t want to be a Christian, I just wanted to understand it. But the more answers I got, the more I … realized I was finding God,” Silas said.
It then became clear to him. “Islam was a big lie.”
Silas is not alone.
Gottfried Martens, a pastor in Berlin, told the Daily Mail that he interviews every migrant who claims to have accepted Christ and only accepts those he believes are truly sincere.Thus far, it has been his experience that only about 10 percent of converts do not return to church after being baptized.
In other words, 90 percent of these new Christians are attending services.
As a result, churches in Germany that used to suffer from declining membership are now seeing remarkable growth in their congregations. In his case, Martens used to minister to about 150 members. He now has more than 600 parishioners with more joining every day. He’s calling the sudden spike in membership nothing short of a “miracle.”
But is it really?
Analysts now say it could be. Even though a Muslim migrant has a far better chance of staying for good in a country like Germany if they are Christian – because they can claim that they would face persecution in their home country if they’re sent back – they’re also subject to persecution by the Muslim community in their adopted country. So conversion to Christianity is risky no matter where the migrant chooses to live.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) interviewed the Rev. Hans-Jürgen Kutzner who gives crash courses once a month to Muslims interested in being baptized.
“What you are signing up to today isn’t just this seminar,” he told a roomful of 28 attendees which included an Iranian woman clutching a rosary that had been translated into Farsi.
“Preparing yourself internally, going to Mass and integrating into your church, it’s all of that,” he instructed.
Kutzner admitted to the WSJ that “We do get people that come here for reasons that aren’t just spiritual,” but these are in the minority, he said. “We constantly fight against the suspicion that conversions are only motivated by hopes for asylum.”
One reader who commented on the story wondered if some of these converts weren’t actually engaging in a practice known as taqiyya, which means lying to infidels.
“ . . . [L]ying to infidels- perfectly acceptable and encouraged in the koran,” the commenter wrote. “Until they are strong enough to subdue the nonbelievers forcefully.”
But another commenter countered with an equally strong possibility. “I would not be surprised if there are a great many closet Christians in the Islamic world today…or at least closet repudiators of Islam. The cruelty embodied in the life and words of the Prophet have been on horrific display once again; in stark contrast to the one who taught his followers to ‘love your enemy’.”
While government officials and church leaders are aware of the risks, most say that every migrant who wants to come to Christ must be given the benefit of the doubt.
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