As the levels of violence escalate in Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, thousands of asylum seekers looking for a safe haven found one in a Berlin based evangelical church.
In the last several years things have drastically changed for the The Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church. They’ve witnessed a congregational shake-up of epic proportions due to the influx in Iranian immigrants who have come one by one to the German house of worship to follow Jesus.
According to the church pastor, Gottfried Martens, immigrants have always been welcome.
But roughly ten years ago when Gottfried began working with former Soviet Union converts, others from Iran began coming in. Specifically, he told PRI that two Iranians stopped in for help.
In return for Marten’s kindness, the two men came back with other immigrants and even an enthusiasm for baptisms and hearing the word of God.
And to his surprise, in 2011, the senior pastor performed his first baptism for an Iranian member and now of course the rest is history because Iranians and Afghans make up a huge chunk of the church congregation.
A blessing that has allowed the evangelical leader to find a new church home. Saying, “we couldn’t stay longer in that church” because of their rapid growth.
In 2016, Martens estimates that he has roughly 1500 church goers from Iran and Afghanistan that attend one of his services every Sunday.
In countries like Iran, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Christians are a tiny population size that receives high levels of persecution.
According to Open Doors USA, a site that documents global abuses against Christians, says that, “Christianity is considered a Western influence and a threat to the Islamic identity.”
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