Apostasy in Germany



poll suspicious attendance
double convert congregation
deacon forbidden unexpected
surge conduct phenomenon
baptize campaign nationwide
Quran give away turn my back
biblical residency darkness (2)
joy disguise disappointed
actual refugee underground (3)
flee turn out try/tried/tried
risk surprise on my way
prison look for deaconess
ahead figure out disinterested
expect persecute in name only
protect freedom take for granted
deport vigorous invigorate
suspect schedule oppression
accept case (3) conversion
belief spot (2)






Parts of Germany are among the most god-less areas in the world. Polling shows that belief in God in the old East Germany is only 13%.

But church attendance is growing here, thanks to former Muslims from Iran.

At the House of God’s Help in East Berlin, Persian converts to Christianity has doubled the size of the congregation.

Deaconess Rosemarie Gotz.

Rosemarie Gotz, Haus Gotteshilfe: “It came like an unexpected summer rain: suddenly, new people started coming every week, and asked to be baptized.

In the beginning, only five or six Iranians came. They were easy to spot, and we got to know them.

And over time, they brought their friends and neighbors.”

Germany has experienced a surge in Islam this year. Muslims conducted a nationwide campaign to give away Qurans in a country that has largely turned its back on Biblical Christianity.

But Iranian immigrants, or Persians, have already experienced the darkness and oppression of Islam in their native land.

And they’re hungry for the freedom and joy of Christianity.

Michael asked that we disguise his face to protect his family in Iran.

Michael, Iranian Christian: “I met a few times with friends in Teheran, in an underground church in a flat. And there we spoke about Jesus. And we tried to do a bible studies without an actual bible.”

All of the Persians we talked to accepted Christ in Iran — and then had to flee or risk prison or death.

David, Iranian Christian: “I was on my way to a house meeting when I saw police outside the flat. So I didn’t go in.

And later, I called my mother. She said the police were here looking for you.

So my family helped me flee the country.”

Nafiseh, Iranian Christian: “When I was in Iran, I wanted to become a Christian. But it’s really difficult to learn about Christianity in Iran. It’s forbidden for a Muslim to become a Christian.

It was really difficult. I had to leave my parents, so I lost my home and my family.”

Rosemarie said the Persians were surprised to find so many Germans disinterested in Christianity.

Rosemarie Gotz, Haus Gotteshilfe: “Most of them became Christians in Iran, and know more about Christianity than you would expect. They are ahead of us because they have already been persecuted for Christ.

And they have figured out pretty quickly that a lot of Germans are Christians in name only. And they are disappointed that Germans take religious freedom for granted.”

Some Germans are suspicious of the conversions because being baptized can help a refugee stay in Germany rather than being deported, so Sister Rosemarie takes the Persian converts through a rigorous schedule of bible classes.

Rosemarie Gotz, Haus Gotteshilfe: “I did suspect that some of them wanted to be baptized just so that they could get residency in Germany. But that has turned out to be the case for only a few. In fact, some of them who have already been baptized, come back to our faith and baptism class for the fourth time.

It’s not known how many Persian immigrants have converted and joined churches in Germany. But it’s become a nationwide phenomenon, and it’s numbering in the thousands.

At the House of God’s Help, it has reinvigorated the congregation.

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1. Modern Germans are a very religious nation. True or false?

2. Are more, less or the same number of people attending churches in this town?

3. Many Muslims from other countries have migrated to Germany. Is this right or wrong? Do they want Germans to become Muslims?

4. How do some Iranians feel about Islam and Christianity?

5. “Michael asked that we disguise his face.” Why does he wish to remain anonymous? What did he and his friends do in Iran?

6. Are Christians free in Iran? Is there religious freedom in Iran?

7. Some Germans don’t believe the Iranians are genuine Christians. Is this correct or incorrect? Why do they think the Iranians are not real Christians?


A. People in my country are very religious, religious, partially religious, not very religious or not religious at all, or it depends?

B. Are there Christian groups such as Baptists, Evangelicals, Born Again Christians? Are they foreign, local or both?

C. Are people changing, in terms of religion or religiosity?

D. What is the religious history of your nation?

E. What will happen in the future?


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