A spokesman for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has accused the church of taking advantage of the migrant crisis for corporate gain, cynically using it as a means to make money.
The comments follow recent news articles about German churches skirting the edges of legality by offering religious sanctuary to failed asylum seekers. Citing traditions that date back to the middle ages, the churches prevent the deportation of illegals by keeping them on religious ground.
While this is not strictly legal, the German government has turned a blind eye to the practice, according to reports by Agence France-Presse.
Accusing the church of acting charitably towards illegal migrants “under the guise of love for their neighbours,” AfD Bavarian chapter chief Petr Bystron said: “This phony public image of reaching out to refugees is also financing a gigantic charity industry under the organisational roof of the churches”.
The comments follow an article in Germany’s Huffington Post this week by Mr. Bystron in which he accuses the Catholic “lobby” of “earning billions from the plight of refugees”. Calling religious communities who claim to be acting out of goodness to migrants from Africa and the Middle East “the beneficiaries of the asylum crisis,” Mr. Bystron said “The two official churches have massive commercial reasons for further immigration.
“The ostensible friendliness towards refugees [is actually] a gigantic welfare industry under the organisational umbrella of the church.”
The right-wing political leader said the Protestant and Catholic churches in Germany are major employers, and the Catholic charity Caritas was one of the largest employers in the country.
Establishing the evidence behind his point, Mr. Bystron said the churches were willing to look past the fact that the vast majority of newcomers were of a religion that has traditionally persecuted, and been at war with, Christendom. He said: “Were it about faith and not about business, the churches would look more sceptically at the influx of Muslims… with its open, promoting stance towards Islam, the official churches [push themselves] further and further away from their members.
“The reality of the blind delusion of welcoming migrants from Islamic countries is that it compensates [the churches] suicide.”
Mr. Bystron also accuses the church of taking advantage of volunteers to do the heavy lifting in these ‘charitable’ acts, from which they rake in cash from the government. A profile of one such migrant this week reveals the 21 year old Iraqi spends his time working unpaid for the church in return for asylum from the government itself.
The churches reject Mr. Bystron’s claims. A spokesman for the German Conference of Bishops said “We reject the poorly thought-out comments from Mr Bystron… It is jabbering, unsupported by a single fact that does little to contribute to a proper discussion”. The spokesman said the comments were a “slap in the face” for 200,000 volunteers.
Breitbart London has reported on the enthusiasm for Muslim migrants in many European churches, despite Christian persecution in Muslim nations — which appears to be in the process of being imported into Europe. Despite a report that some 40,000 Christians are now being persecuted by Muslims in Germany, a Catholic group has played down the severity of the abuse, and stated that segregation would be even worse than allowing the attacks to continue.
Admitting there was a problem significant enough to warrant separate accommodation for Christian refugees would send a “disastrous signal,” said Thomas Sternberg of the Central Committee of German Catholics. More important was not “[stirring] up the misconception that Christians and Muslims can’t live together,” he said.
Petr Bystron’s AfD party has been enjoying record poll results on the back of their hard-line stance on the migrant crisis, the only political force in Germany which has consistently been opposing mass migration. The party has recently voted to recognise the statement: “Islam does not belong to Germany”, and are campaigning for a minaret ban.
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