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AP Photo/Martin Meissner
World News

Persecution of Christian asylum seekers in Germany continues

That's according to a survey published by several Christian NGOs that claims as many as 743 Christian refugees in various German states have reported religiously motivated attacks in 2016.

The report suggests these figures are 'the tip of the iceberg,' with 'a high number of unreported cases'.

Over half of the refugees affected by these incidents reported violent assaults and 42% of them said that they or their family members had received death threats from Muslim refugees or staff.

44 Christian asylum seekers also reported sexual attacks - reported to be motivated by the faith of the victims.

The survey was conducted by:

Open Doors

Action on behalf of Persecuted Christians and the Needy (AVC)

European Mission Society Fellowship (EMC)

Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany (ZOCD).

The survey believes most of the refugees experiencing this persecution were from Syria and Iran, with half of all Christian asylum seekers surveyed being converts from Islam.

This can be particularly problematic as, in the words of the report delivered at a press conference in Berlin, "according to the Quran their change of faith is considered as a crime worthy of the death penalty, therefore they are explicitly in danger".

Martin Neumeyer, Germany's Commissioner on Integration, said that those guilty of persecution should face harsh consequences.

Speaking at the press conference, he said: "Those who terrorize Christians or atheists in the refugee shelters should have no right to apply for asylum."

Ralf Jaeger, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, where more than 120 cases of attacks on Christian asylum seekers were recorded, said that his ministry has "no evidence of religiously motivated attacks on Christian refugees or other religious minorities".

By Dan Golding

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