More Iranian Christians are emigrating to Germany than ever before to escape religious persecution in their home country. The Guardian reports that though East Berlin has been considered one of the most “godless” locations in history, the city is now attracting thousands of foreign Christians to the area.
The Iranian immigrants must pay to enter the country illegally; some pay up to $30,000 to make the trip with a fake passport. They create fake names and start their lives over in new churches.
The wave of Christian immigrants to Germany has grown from under 1,000 people in 2008 to 4,348 in 2012. The refugees feel that they must relocate, risking severe punishment, in order to preserve their Christian faith.
One woman who remains in Iran said that she was harassed and abused for her faith. The woman was imprisoned for putting up a Christmas tree in her home and workplace, receiving more than 70 lashes from her jailers.
“I want Iran to have respect to have respect for my perspective, about what religion I choose,” the woman, who wished to only be identified by her first name Afsaneh, said.
Publication date: May 12, 2014