According to reports received by FCNN, a reliable German news agency, DW, in a recent report, disclosed the 40 Iranians who reside in Germany have recently converted and been baptized as Christians in the city of Hanover.
“These baptismal ceremonies were conducted in both Farsi and German,” said the story.
The report also adds that every month tens of Iranians refugees and residents in Germany officially convert to Christianity, “but,” it continued, “this incident in Hanover is the first of its kind where a large group have together converted and been baptized as Christians.”
FCNN reports that the pastor of the church in the city of Hanover who conducted these ceremonies disclosed that many of these people had come from various cities in Germany to participate in these ceremonies.
Hans Jorgen Kutzner is the protestant pastor who is personally responsible for prayers and shepherding of more than 1,000 Iranians all over Germany. He is responsible, on behalf of the Protestant church, to oversee the matters related to the welfare of Iranians residents in Germany.
He said that he has personally baptized dozens of people in the past, adding, “These people come from a country that appears to be very religious and there is no separation between religion and politics.”
He further added, “Many of these people suffered the brutal and oppressive hand of Islam in their country. Anyone who has experienced such dictatorial oppression seeks to be freed from it at the first available opportunity.”
According to this Hanover pastor, the number of conversions and requests for water baptism by Iranians has been on “a significant increase since the presidential elections and the widespread protests that followed it in 2009.”
He went on to say that the issue if not just a matter of a change of religion.
“Even people who choose not to convert are offered help and assistance. The issue is more about humanity,” he said.
It has been reported that most of these new believers are men between the ages of 25-45, but not all are men.
Among those who was recently baptized is Parisa, a 30-year-old woman who, up until recently, was wearing her head scarf and was a teacher in the city of Isfahan in Iran. She said that she got into trouble when she refused to wear a chador* in order to teach at her school and therefore was transferred to small village near Isfahan.
Shortly after, she escaped to Germany.
When recounting her story, she said, “I was never a practicing Muslim.”
Moreover, she stated that she constantly “suffered from discrimination” that was so obvious against women in Iran.
“She has a great appreciation for the principle of religious freedom which is enshrined in the German constitution. She says that she feels like being born anew,” said the FCCN story.
Darius, another refugee from Iran, has been a Christian now for almost 2 years. This 31-year-old mechanical engineer is currently living at a refugee center and is not sure whether he will be allowed to stay in Germany. He says that his parents, after hearing of his conversion and faith in Christ, not only have disowned him, but have threatened to kill him.
Pastor Kutzner says there are many unfortunate incidents that are part of this “phenomenon.”
The German government, according to Pastor Kutzner, does not care at all about the religious status of these refugees and often deports them without due consideration about their conversion and the potential danger they may face in being returned to Iran.
FCNN has recently reported that in Sweden, 13 Iranians were baptized, among whom was an 83-year-old man.
It went on to report that the pastor of the local Iranian church in Sweden, “along with his words of encouragement and the great work that the Lord has been doing in the lives of Iranians,” expressed his wish and prayer by saying, “May the Lord grant us that as the great harvest of souls that is ahead of us we would witness the salvation of hundreds and thousands of Iranians for His service and the glory of His Kingdom.”
* A chador is a loose robe which is worn like a cloak by some devout Hindus and Muslims. Many people associate the chador specifically with Iran, but it is also worn in other parts of the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia. Muslims typically wear their chadors with the hijab, a headscarf which covers the hair, throat, and neck, to ensure that their appearance conforms with Islamic laws about modesty and comportment.
Dan Wooding, Assist News Service