The UK Telegraph reports that many Syrian refugees are converting to Christianity in order to find safety in Lebanon. The refugees claimed that they decided to be followers of Christ to benefit from the humanitarian aid distributed by Christian charities and to help their asylum applications to other countries.

Ibrahim Ali, a 57-year-old Syrian, revealed that people like him would do anything to secure their family. He said he never imagined he would be converting to Christianity since it is virtually unheard of in Syria.

Pastor Said Deeb at the Church of God said several refugees ask him for baptism every week. “I have people begging me to help them become Christian. They think it will help them claim asylum abroad. They say ‘just baptize me, I will believe in whoever just to leave here’.”

“Changing religion in the Middle East is a very big thing. In Syria you very occasionally hear of Christians converting to Islam but never the other way round,” he said.

In the meantime, Alia al-Haji, a 29-year-old mother, attends a church in the nearby Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh. She disclosed that once she is baptized, she would apply for asylum in Canada.

“The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) tells us it doesn’t help your application to be Christian, but that’s not our experience,” she said. She added that the Lebanese hate the refugees so they treat them harshly. “My husband is not allowed to work – I feel we will die here if we stay.”

Pastor Said Deeb at the Church of God said several refugees ask him for baptism every week. “I have people begging me to help them become Christian. They think it will help them claim asylum abroad. They say ‘just baptize me, I will believe in whoever just to leave here’.”

Sources:
Telegraphcouk. (2017). The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/30/muslim-refugees-converting-christianity-find-safety/

Thecableng. (2017). TheCable. https://www.thecable.ng/muslim-refugees-converting-christianity-remain-safe

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