By Eric Leijenaar, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent
BERLIN/AMSTERDAM (BosNewsLife) — For over 200 days an evangelical congregation in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has been providing “church asylum” to a Vietnamese Christian amid fears he may be deported by local German authorities, news reports said Sunday, September 3.
German evangelical news agency IDEA said 43-year-old Tuan Ngo Van, a Christian and professional musician, is staying inside the building of the evangelical ‘Ferndorf’ church congregation near the town of Kreuztal.
Other churches and individual Christians in the area as well as members of a local chamber orchestra are also supporting the Vietnamese man. German authorities reportedly plan to deport as he failed to convince them about his need to seek asylum in Germany.
Vietnamese Christians, especially those belonging to ethnic minority groups or evangelical churches, face often persecution in the Communist-run nation, human rights groups and local Christians say.
Tuan Ngo Van’s case has underscored concerns within Germany’s Christian community about the treatment of Christian refugees in the European Union’s biggest nation.
In late July a German court only ruled at the last moment that German authorities could not deport a Christian asylum seeker back to Iran where he may face execution for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Amid domestic and international pressure, the Administrative Court in the Bavarian town of Anschbach ruled July 26 that 30-year-old Reza Mamiporabri could stay in Germany. It is unclear however how many other Iranian Christians have been deported from the country.
Germany is not the only EU nation criticized for its allegedly being reluctant to protect Christian refugees.
Church leaders and politicians in the Netherlands recently criticized the government for not doing enough to grant asylum to believers persecuted for their faith, including Iranian Christians. (With BosNewsLife Research).
Copyright 2006 BosNewsLife. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without our prior written consent.