While the Catholic and Lutheran churches have banned attempts to convert migrants, evangelicals hope to bring Muslims in asylum homes to the Christian faith.
Jürgen Grau is an evangelical Christian going against the conventional churches who ban their members from attempting to convert migrants. Mr. Grau feels that Germany has become a place where Christianity is viewed in a hostile manner.
For Mr. Grau, it is important for him to spread the word and proselytize to others of different faiths, and feels that this has become his purpose in life. He is causing controversy by visiting migrant camps to spread Christianity to newly arrived Muslims, Suddeutsche Zeitung reports.
As a member of the working group for migration and integration of the Evangelical Alliance in Germany, Mr. Grau is used to travelling overseas to carry out missionary work. Offering workshops at his church in Fürth, Mr. Grau invites migrants so that he may pray for them and claims that he attempts to give many of them hope.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are also known in Bavaria to be doing similar work, but have been criticised by Catholic charity Caritas who say that although it’s not prohibited for them to proselytize to new migrants, they may have entered the migrant homes illegally.
Caritas also notes the dangers to migrants who do end up converting to Christianity as some are often the victims of reprisal attacks from Muslims. A member of Caritas in Munich slammed the Jehovah’s Witnesses for trying to convert a migrant who was undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they told the migrant that they could be healed of it by faith alone.
To Mr. Grau, both Caritas and their protestant equivalent Diakonia are moving away from their Christian roots by not spreading the faith to the new migrants. He said that he feels obliged to tell people of the gospel rather than simply help the migrants through social work programmes.
Mr. Grau states that his opinion on Islam is not quite as positive as many churches, and claims to support the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement. He states that he doesn’t like concepts such as taqiyya where certain sects of Islam allow a Muslim to lie about his faith. Christians are forbidden to lie, he said, while claiming that in the Islamic faith: “This leads to distrust even among their own countrymen”.
The evangelical also supports the proposed ban on the creation of an Islamic centre in Munich. With regards to how many migrants Germany should take in, he said: “There are certainly limits”.
While he disagrees with unlimited mass migration, Mr. Grau still feels the desire to fulfil the Christian virtue of charity by helping in a refugee camp in Iraq. “My concern is always to help people,” he said.