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P R A E S I D I U M
A Common-Sense Journal of Literary and Cultural Analysis
16.1 (Winter 2016)
Iranian Christians, Resettled in Germany, Are Terrorized by “Refugees”
John R. Harris
A genuine refugee from the ISIS thugs and murderers would probably not be bullying his host-nation’s Iranian Christian population before taking his shoes off.
On December 12, 2015, Peter Helmes published on his website, Die Deutschen Konservativen, an appeal written by Mahin Mousapour, the female pastor of an evangelical church in Frankfurt, and forwarded by Klaus Hildebrandt. (See “Verfolgung von Christen in Frankfurt/Main durch Moslems”, http://www.konservative.de/Aktuelles, 12/12/2015.) A native of Iran, Rev. Mousapour’s German is not impeccable, though certainly far superior to my own. I have allowed myself, then, a few small liberties from either direction in translating the letter. Its intent is nowhere in any doubt.
Christians in Frankfurt Are Being Persecuted, Threatened, and Targeted
Since 1996, I have been the pastor of an independent evangelical congregation in Frankfurt, Germany. My flock consists of Christians from Iran and Afghanistan with an Islamic background.
For years now, these Christians and their family members in Frankfurt have been threatened and discriminated against by Islamists. I myself was once threatened in the street by Muslims with knives and have been harassed many times more. Now the people I counsel and call my church family—Christians from lands with Islamic traditions—are being oppressed, targeted, and persecuted in Frankfurt more severely than ever. Among the refugees are both Muslims and persecuted (because of their conversion) Christians. Although the converts among the refugees want to join my congregation, they are very circumspect and preserve a total silence about believing in Jesus. The Muslims here that target them, on the other hand, are outspoken, daring, and see themselves as in the right. Their conduct shows no respect or regard for the fundamental laws of this nation.
I have nothing against Islam and Muslims. My own sister is a Muslim. Yet every time that I seek help for my congregation, I am immediately made to close my mouth. My German friends say, “We cannot help you, because then we will at once be branded as xenophobic.”
Please help us, and support us. This society and its media take a greater interest in Islam and Muslims than in Christians. We Christians are being completely ignored, as if we did not belong to the nation’s citizenry. I find myself now “a suffering Christian” in a land ruled by the Christian Democrat Party.
This link goes to my speech of November 28, 2015, delivered in Hamburg during a candlelight vigil whose subject was “Persecuted Christians”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmVv2a3bAdc.
As a German Persian and a female pastor, I beg you who read this to take my appeal to heart and spread its words far and wide. I am eager to convey further information to interested parties.
I thank you sincerely in anticipation of a response.
Office: Am Herrngarten 2-65817 Eppstein, Frankfurt, Deutschland
Phone: 06198-5-8888-5 and 0179-120-7388
My conversational German, I hasten to admit, is far too sophomoric for me to attempt a transcription of the Hamburg speech. It lasts about eleven minutes and lays particular stress on the so-called refugees’ utter contempt of their host-nation’s laws and customs. The words “Klu Klux Klan” appear prominently at one point: a very apt analogy, it seems to me, for the kind of confraternities our politicians are creating among us, in both Europe and the US, as they invite hundreds of thousands of unscreened young men into our communties. The spontaneity and energy in Rev. Mousapour’s voice and manner as she passes the midway point in her speech are remarkable, even if the hearer hasn’t a word of German. Though she reads from a set of stapled papers (she is a small woman of perhaps early middle age, wearing thick glasses, who needs the microphone adjusted downward as she talks), the final few pages leap straight from the heart. No warm-blooded human being of any sense can listen to these ten minutes without being moved.
Here is my own brief email to Rev. Mousapour—written in English, since my broken German would only stir confusion and raise doubts about the sender’s sanity:
Dear Reverend Mousapour,
I have posted my translation of your letter to Klaus Hildebrandt on two different websites. I hope that my circulating it may help in some very, very small way. Yet I know that you must have few illusions about the shallow and sickly roots of Christianity here in the West. We have forgotten how to suffer. When we see true suffering, it embarrasses us and we want it to disappear. At the same time, we elect certain “false sufferers” the way we elect our representatives. These are people who do not make us uncomfortable because their suffering is not very real; hence they do not require any genuine sacrifice of us. If we give them a little bit of our own money, they may perhaps say pleasant things about us, and we go away feeling very good about ourselves. Or we can demand that the state give them inconceivable amounts of money, and then we feel even better about ourselves because so many of our fellow citizens, in protesting, prove that they are not the good people that we clearly are.
Though, as I say, none of this will come as a surprise to you, I am sorry that you and your congregation are being so victimized by the West’s decline. Obviously, this is a kind of suffering that we must pass through if we are to be cured. Most of us do not yet recognize it as suffering, or are vaguely recognizing it as such and running from it in terror (hence the complete ignoring of you and your parishioners). Eventually, however, I fear that our collective suffering may be far greater than yours; and it will certainly be much more deserved.