Thousands of migrants are being baptised into the Christian faith upon arrival in Europe but the German government is sceptical, suspecting many are changing faith to bolster their chances of getting asylum. Immigrants from countries where being a practising Christian can be a deadly conviction such as Iran, Afghanistan and Syria are converting to the religion in great numbers in Europe, having lived as Muslims before arriving in the continent. One church featured in a report by German state broadcaster ARD expects to baptise 600 people this year.

Another baptised 185 newcomers in 2015. Many communities were experiencing influxes of migrant worshippers, said the report. Naturally, the reasons for migrants turning to the Christian church are diverse. One prominent explanation is a rejection of Islam, which has been credited as a driving force behind the conflicts many asylum seekers claim to be escaping. ARD reports the remarks of one priest, Pastor Albert Babayan who said “Many say they are disappointed by Islam”. READ MORE