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Sun Jun 5, 2016, 11:38 AM

European churches say growing flock of Muslim refugees are converting

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/05/european-churches-growing-flock-muslim-refugees-converting-christianity

"A growing number of Muslim refugees in Europe are converting to Christianity, according to churches, which have conducted mass baptisms in some places.

Reliable data on conversions is not available but anecdotal evidence suggests a pattern of rising church attendance by Muslims who have fled conflict, repression and economic hardship in countries across the Middle East and central Asia.

Complex factors behind the trend include heartfelt faith in a new religion, gratitude to Christian groups offering support during perilous and frightening journeys, and an expectation that conversion may aid asylum applications.

At Trinity church in the Berlin suburb of Steglitz, the congregation has grown from 150 two years ago to almost 700, swollen by Muslim converts, according to Pastor Gottfried Martens. Earlier this year, churches in Berlin and Hamburg reportedly held mass conversions for asylum seekers at municipal swimming pools."

Thought this was very interesting.

51 replies, 2955 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply European churches say growing flock of Muslim refugees are converting (Original post)
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 OP
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #1
libodem Jun 2016 #2
Bradical79 Jun 2016 #4
libodem Jun 2016 #11
closeupready Jun 2016 #3
lindysalsagal Jun 2016 #5
Mosby Jun 2016 #7
braddy Jun 2016 #6
EL34x4 Jun 2016 #10
lindysalsagal Jun 2016 #18
GulfCoast66 Jun 2016 #20
hatrack Jun 2016 #22
braddy Jun 2016 #24
hatrack Jun 2016 #30
Angel Martin Jun 2016 #34
braddy Jun 2016 #35
Angel Martin Jun 2016 #36
braddy Jun 2016 #43
madinmaryland Jun 2016 #8
hatrack Jun 2016 #23
pampango Jun 2016 #9
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #16
Quantess Jun 2016 #19
pampango Jun 2016 #25
Quantess Jun 2016 #37
pampango Jun 2016 #42
jwirr Jun 2016 #12
treestar Jun 2016 #13
TipTok Jun 2016 #15
TipTok Jun 2016 #14
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #46
TipTok Jun 2016 #48
LanternWaste Jul 2016 #49
TipTok Jul 2016 #50
Yo_Mama Jun 2016 #17
Democrats Ascendant Jun 2016 #28
Chitown Kev Jun 2016 #38
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #47
Ilsa Jun 2016 #21
hrmjustin Jun 2016 #26
Democrats Ascendant Jun 2016 #27
Vogon_Glory Jun 2016 #29
NightWatcher Jun 2016 #31
daleo Jun 2016 #32
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #41
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jun 2016 #33
smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #40
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Jun 2016 #44
Ghost Dog Jun 2016 #39
dembotoz Jun 2016 #45
Warpy Jul 2016 #51

Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 12:22 PM

1. Kick.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 12:24 PM

2. Very Interesting

You'd think they'd become athiest after the struggles.

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Response to libodem (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 12:42 PM

4. I kind of feel like a drastic change like that would take more introspection

 

Church's organization give you an instant welcoming community that probably help alot when chased from your home by murderous lunatics. It's still Abrhamaic and familiar in some ways, so I think it would be an easier transition too. The mental strain of fleeing ISIS probably isn't too conductive to contemplating the type of change in worldview eliminating deities brings.

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Response to Bradical79 (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:34 PM

11. True Story

I can't begin to imagine.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 12:36 PM

3. Sad. Trading one form of superstition for another one does not lead

 

people to truth and light, but it's a free world - they can do whatever they want. If it makes their assimilation experience easier or better for their children, fine with me.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 12:50 PM

5. Proving, again, that religion is really about access to resources, not deities or dogma.

And it always has been. People believe in filling their stomachs, security, and hopefulness, not gods.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #5)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:07 PM

7. maybe sometimes

But the copts, chaldeans, druze and others have greatly suffered because of their beliefs and continue to do so.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:00 PM

6. Being in a nation where they are allowed to learn about Jesus and leave Islam, makes the difference.

 

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Response to braddy (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:16 PM

10. This.

 

In the Western world, you are allowed to try out as many different religions as you like, stick with the one you like best, or none at all if you prefer. This is not the case in Muslim countries.

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Response to EL34x4 (Reply #10)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:09 PM

18. Superstition a-la-carte. How wonderful! N/t.

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Response to lindysalsagal (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:32 PM

20. Hell of a lot better

Than if you do not believe 'this' superstition we will kill you. Which is what most of these folk are fleeing.

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Response to braddy (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:48 PM

22. They probably already know, since Jesus is mentioned in the Koran by name 93 times . . .

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Response to hatrack (Reply #22)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:57 PM

24. No, they don't know about Jesus, they don't learn about him reading Mohammed's Koran.

 

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Response to braddy (Reply #24)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:39 PM

30. Oh, OK, got it.

Get down with your bad self, big fella.

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Response to braddy (Reply #6)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 10:06 PM

34. "..allowed to learn about Jesus and leave Islam,"

actually, that is allowed to leave Islam and not be executed for apostasy

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #34)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 10:12 PM

35. Interesting that you mention (claim?) that a Muslim won't be executed for becoming A Christian

 

in the countries they are fleeing from.

I think my original post holds up.

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Response to braddy (Reply #35)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 01:29 AM

36. i guess I wasn't clear

my point was that in many of the countries they are fleeing, they do face the death penalty for renouncing Islam and converting to something else

in Germany, they don't face death for converting, hence more do.

One thing that does still happen, converts are often shunned by their families after conversion. I attend anglican churches in two different cities, and we have had muslim converts that have been rejected by their families in both congregations.

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #36)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 08:50 AM

43. Sorry that I misunderstood you.Your post is correct and I read it wrong.

 

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:11 PM

8. Wait, what? I thought Obama wanted to convert everyone here to Islam and impose Sharia Law?

Am I missing something??

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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #8)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:53 PM

23. You're missing class at the Federal Madrasa!

Make haste, or no free stuff for you!!!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:12 PM

9. Thanks for posting this. I had not heard of this before. I wonder

if the far-right will become more accepting of refugees if they are not 'scary Muslims'. Probably not.

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Response to pampango (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 07:07 PM

16. I am thinking this may help things a bit.

I hope so.

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Response to pampango (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:19 PM

19. It is now mainstream in europe to be resistant to immigrants in general.

The whole migrant crisis has been a disaster in europe.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:08 PM

25. If true the far-right must be happy. They have been anti-immigrant for a long time.

Some on the left are still supporting refugees and immigrants.

Germany: 400+ arrested as right and left wing protesters clash; political tensions heat up

Hundreds of left-wing protesters have clashed with people attending a far-right party conference in the German city of Stuttgart.

Around 1,000 officers were deployed at the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party conference, as 400 arrests were made

Footage on social media showed the protesters shouting slogans such as: "Keep refugees, drive Nazis away!"

AfD, which wants to ban the burqa and outlaw minarets in Germany, is expected to announce that it is explicitly anti-Islamic during the meeting.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/alternative-fur-deutschland-conference-protesters-germany-arrested-a7007971.html

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Response to pampango (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 03:22 AM

37. The RW nationalists are gaining popularity, and the more mainstream parties are finally noticing

which way the wind is blowing. The mainstream politicians that want to keep their jobs have figured out that they shouldn't appear too eager to accept more asylum seekers or immigrants in general.

Whether you agree or not, this is the situation all over europe.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #37)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 06:31 AM

42. RW populists are gaining in Europe and the US. Much of the left is fighting their anti-refugee

policies. You are right, mainstream politicians will bend whichever way they think the political wind is blowing and it is blowing to the right at the moment.

In March's Germany provincial election, the RW populist party AfD got almost 1/4 of the vote in one province.

The populist Alternative for Germany, which focused its campaign on opposition to Ms. Merkel’s migrant policy, won nearly a quarter of the vote in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt. The result—several percentage points higher than recent polls had suggested—represents the party’s best total in a regional election since its founding three years ago. “We have a very clear position on refugee policy: We don’t want to take in any refugees,” AfD deputy chairman Alexander Gauland said on German television. “All who voted for us stand behind this policy.”

But the results laid bare the extent to which the migration crisis has polarized German society. Left-of-center proponents of a welcoming refugee policy also recorded wins Sunday, even as Ms. Merkel’s conservatives suffered. Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union lost two close races, falling to the center-left Greens in Baden-Württemberg and the center-left Social Democrats in Rhineland-Palatinate.

In the traditionally conservative state of Baden-Württemberg, one of Germany’s economic powerhouses, the refugee-friendly Greens surged to first place behind their popular incumbent premier, Winfried Kretschmann. Ms. Merkel’s CDU failed to win first place in the southwestern state for the first time since World War II. The AfD, meanwhile, won 15%—the best postwar result for a populist or far-right party in the state.

Despite Sunday’s setbacks, Ms. Merkel remains in a relatively strong position at home. Her approval rating stands at 54%, a decline from 67% last summer but still high compared with the leaders of many other European democracies. ... In Sunday’s exit polls, a majority of voters in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate said Ms. Merkel was doing a good job handling migration.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/germans-head-to-polls-in-test-of-merkels-refugee-policies-1457857810

The anti-immigrant far-right is rising in Europe and in the US. The question is how long their rise continues and what, if anything, reverses it. Many politicians in the middle will 'triangulate' their migrant policies to appease the right. We can hope that most on the left will not but who knows.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:43 PM

12. Very interesting. If true it will mean assimilation and that

may help them but I have a story that makes me kind of doubt this.

There is a hill over looking a the village of Lame Deer Montana. The Natives in this village on the reservation tell the story about the Catholic church priests who would stand on the top of the hill and baptize the whole village and claim that the people were all now Christians. So I am wondering if this is just the church practicing and age old baptism or if they are really getting people to accept what they teach.

Also many of the refugees may already been Christian since the countries of the ME are none to friendly to that religion.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:44 PM

13. Now that's interesting

I thought that the Muslims were going to take over and could not assimilate!

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Response to treestar (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:50 PM

15. It's not that they can't...

 

It's that not enough choose to do so.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 03:48 PM

14. One superstition for another...

 

Black cats for cracks in a sidewalk.

Big fat meh....

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Response to TipTok (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 06:46 PM

46. At least they are trying to assimilate.

I would think that is a hopeful sign. I'm pretty anti-religious on the whole, but any effort made to assimilate is a good sign, I think.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #46)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 08:35 PM

48. It's not bad...

 

... But it's a drop in the ocean.

It's also like swapping out terminal cancer for HIV.

Better but still bad....

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Response to TipTok (Reply #14)

Wed Jul 27, 2016, 03:02 PM

49. Or one imaginary national border for another.

 

Or one imaginary national border for another.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other-- as none exist anywhere but our little imaginations, Horatio.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #49)

Wed Jul 27, 2016, 03:05 PM

50. Bored?

 

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:07 PM

17. Well - the discos are full too. They didn't have the freedom to do this in most countries of origin

It's natural that the new immigrants would explore their new freedoms.

Unfortunately, many immigrants have come from countries in which they didn't have a lot of social, cultural and religious options.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:21 PM

28. It wasn't always so bad...

I went to a lot of dance clubs in Syria and Lebanon when I made my way through about a decade ago.
Lots of young people doing as they will do!!

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 04:17 AM

38. Funny you should mention this

Let me find this story that I read about 2 months ago.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Germany-Berlin-Nightclubs-Mobilize-to-Help-Refugees-20160515-0040.html

The oldest gay nightclub in Berlin held the second edition of its Refugees Welcome party Sunday, part of a broader initiative in the city's nightlife community to raise money for pro-refugee organizations.

“Many Syrian and Arab refugees reportedly visit the nightclub regularly,” Lcavaliero, the club's art director, told TRAX magazine. He added he could not tell how the refugees would perceive support from the gay community, but emphasized that the fight against homophobia could not be split from the fight against racism.

“I could meet a DJ from Syria who ran away because of his sexual orientation. There were [gay] parties there, it can be surprising but I don't believe it would be a shock for them [refugees],” he added.

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Response to Chitown Kev (Reply #38)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 06:48 PM

47. There is hope.

I suspect there are a lot of gay immigrants and refugees that would like to live their lives without fear from the religious henchmen.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 08:44 PM

21. I hope they find happiness in their new churches,

homes, beliefs. I'm hoping they learn to embrace other new cultural ideas, also.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:12 PM

26. I wish them all the best and offer them my prayers and best wishes in their new faith.

 

My prayers and good thoughts go out to all the regugees of this crisid regardless of wjat they believe.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:18 PM

27. Interesting, but I wonder....

Many Syrians are actually Christians already, so maybe there's some people confusing Arab = Muslim. There could also be some switching between the various Christian denominations. Still, the report is interesting.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:35 PM

29. And I Bet The Absence Of Heavily-Armed Bullyboys Helped The Process

i betcha that one of the factors that inspired the sincere converts was the relative shortage of heavily-armed strutting goons using religion as an excuse to be hateful to their neighbors.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:43 PM

31. Think for yourself, people. Stop following manipulators

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:59 PM

32. Looking at it cynically, a conversion would cement their refugee status

ISIS kills apostates from Islam, so converts have an excellent justification for seeking refugee status in Europe. Sending them back now, could be a death sentence. From a legal standpoint, conversion is a smart move.

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Response to daleo (Reply #32)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 05:04 AM

41. Good point!

I think the article mentions that not all the converts might be sincere, but I didn't think about that as a reason.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 10:02 PM

33. Uh oh

I know one poster who will have a sad

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #33)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 05:02 AM

40. I think I can guess who that is.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 01:56 PM

44. Europe will change because Christianity stinks!

But I support personal choices of religion.....blah blah blah

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 04:24 AM

39. May I point out that there are large Christian communities in Syria

and thereabouts, members of which will be among refugees in Anatolia and in Europe seeking asylum?

A factor that might impact certain church attendance figures.

The mooted swimming pool "mass conversations" would surely have been documented and published somewhere...

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Mon Jun 6, 2016, 02:50 PM

45. the new kids at the new school want to fit in Really that simple

if you look and dress like everyone else you are treated better

its not rocket science or theology....its peer pressure just like high school

this is why i always kinda admire folks who keep the traditional clothing
it takes guts

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Response to smirkymonkey (Original post)

Wed Jul 27, 2016, 03:14 PM

51. Probably 2 big reasons

First, the ones who have experienced the harsh Wahab reign of ISIL have likely lost a lot of faith in Islam. Second, they are in a new country and have seen enough in the old one that they never want to return, so they're adopting all the trappings of that new country as fast as they can. This phenomenon was also seen in the Irish fleeing the potato famine.

I know a few Muslims in this country who converted, mostly because it was easier on their kids. They still suppress a shudder when they look at the pork in the supermarket.

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