Germany (MNN) — Berlin, Germany is considered one of the most godless places in the world. According to a report from The Guardian, 50% of the population can be identified as atheist. It’s ironic, because this city has become a magnet for Iranian Christians seeking asylum.
According to the report, Germany hasn’t seen an Iranian migrant population growth this large since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. The Guardian reports the association of Iranian refugees in Berlin that the number of Iranians coming to Germany has doubled every year for the last five years: from less than 1,000 in 2008 to 4,348 in 2012.
Figures from the federal office for migration and refugees in Germany confirms this trend: with over 3,500 Iranians granted asylum last year, Iran was one of five countries from which Germany saw a rise in asylum applications.
Because Iran is an Islamic nation governed by Muslims, being a Christian there is difficult. Despite this, Voice of the Martyrs Todd Nettleton is amazed at what’s happening with the Iranian people. “The church among the Iranian people is just growing at an astronomical rate. In fact, Operation World identifies the church among Iranians as the fastest-growing church in the world. That includes Iranians in Iran. It also includes Iranians in other places.”
There is a reason the Iranian church is growing so quickly. VOM works with television broadcaster Dr. Hormoz Shariat with Iran Alive Ministries who says, “70% of Iranian have rejected Islam. They have seen Islam as a problem rather than the solution. The mullahs are the power in Iran. They’re the people who are running the country. When the government doesn’t work, in the minds of the people: that means Islam doesn’t work.”
Now, Nettleton says, they’re looking for something else. That’s why Christian Satellite Television programs like Iran Alive Ministries works.
What does conversion to Christianity mean for Muslim-background believers? Nettleton says, “That brings persecution, sometimes from your own family, sometimes from government officials. But there will be a price to be paid for following Jesus in Iran, and some of these Christian brothers and sisters are choosing to leave the country and relocate someplace where they and their families can be safe.”
While many are leaving Iran for asylum, many more remain in Iran. VOM is giving them the tools they need to remain. They’re also providing help to those who are imprisoned for their faith.
Nettleton says you can help, too, by going to PrisonerAlert.com. “We have some Iranian prisoners on there that you can write to. This makes a difference. It makes a difference in how people are treated. It makes a difference in how their case moves forward in the court system there.”
You can also help provide broadcast funding for their partnership with Iran Alive Ministries and help supply Bibles for the thousands of new believers in Iran.