The BBC has reported that many Iranian refugees in the Netherlands are converting to Christianity. The BBC report acknowledged that the lives of those who convert from Islam are at risk because of the death penalty for apostasy in Islam and that many are scared to be identified. However, in spite of this it questioned the motives of those being baptised. Despite listening to the testimony of a former Muslim telling how he had been impressed by the goodness of Christians’ lives, the BBC report suggested that converts were simply converting to improve their chances of getting a visa.
What the BBC failed to report is that many Iranian Christians face severe persecution in European refugee shelters, something that Barnabas Fund has highlighted several times. A simple internet search by the BBC would have revealed this other side of the story. In fact, as we recently reported there is a growing body of evidence that Iranian government agents may actually be monitoring Iranian Christians who have fled as refugees to the West.
There will always be some who claim to follow Christ when they have ulterior motives, or to use the Biblical metaphor there will always be “tares among the wheat.” However, for the BBC to imply that most or even all of the Iranian Christian refugees being baptised in the Netherlands were doing so just to get refugee status simply reinforces the suffering, discrimination and sometimes outright persecution many already face in European refugee shelters.