ILC head: the German government must protect the Christian minority in refugee camps from Muslim bullying

The head of the International Lutheran Council, the counterpart of the Lutheran World Federation among Lutherans who actually continue to subscribe to historic Lutheranism, is calling on Germany to protect the Christians among the country's refugees from ISIS from abuse by Muslims.

The Rev. Dr. Hans-Jörg Voigt,  bishop of Germany's Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK) has called for separate accommodations for Christian refugees as long as they continue to be harassed and assaulted by members of the Muslim majority.

Dr. Gottfried Martens, the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (SELK) in Berlin-Steglitz, has reported numerous cases in which parishioners from Iran and Afghanistan have been verbally harassed, had crosses ripped from their necks, and had their Bibles destroyed by Muslim fellow refugees.

Citing the guarantee of religious freedom in Germany's Constitution, Dr. Voigt said that the state has an obligation to guarantee that right to residents of the refugee camps. "It must not be permitted that Christians are oppressed in refugee shelters because of their faith,” he said

Dr. Voigt says that political and cultural leaders are downplaying the problem because of a justified if ironic desire not to cause discrimination against Muslims. But the bishop stressed that the rights of some religious groups cannot be protected unless all are free to practice their faith without harassment or interference.

Prayers for our persecuted brothers and sisters in the camps are very much in order. Pray, too, that the German government intervenes to address this urgent crisis.