Episode: Muslim Refugees Are Finding Christ—And Facing Backlash

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Muslim Refugees Are Finding Christ—And Facing Backlash

Over the past decade, hundreds of Muslim migrants in Europe have encountered Christianity and embraced the gospel. In 2012, CT reported on the dozens of Iranian Muslims who had converted after moving to Germany. David Cashin, who has worked in ministry in Sweden and Bangladesh and taught courses in Islamic history, theology, and Muslim-Christian relations, believes something similar is also happening in Sweden. “The largest revival in the last 100 years is going on right now, and it’s primarily Muslims becoming Christians,” said Cashin, a professor of intercultural studies at Columbia Biblical Seminary. In recent years, as refugees have arrived in Western Europe from Iraq and Syria, some members of these communities have in turn become Christians. Yet, Christian communities in Germany and Sweden, comprising both those from the historic Middle Eastern church as well as recent converts, have been subject to abuse and harassment from radical Muslims. In 2017, Open Doors surveyed 123 Christian asylum seekers in Sweden. According to the report: More than half of all participants in the survey (53%) reported that they have been affected by violent assaults at least once, due to their Christian faith. Almost half of all participants (45%) in the survey reported that they have been threatened to death at least once and 6% reported that they have been a target of sexual assaults. Cashin joined associate editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss why Iranian migrants, more than any others from the Middle East, are drawn to Christianity, whether or not all these conversions are bona fide, and what the Western Europen governments must do to better protect migrant religious minority communities.

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