A Kurdish church leader, who was smuggled to Britain, revealed that he has received death threats for having left Islam for Christianity. The Christian, who asked to be anonymous, spent nine months living in camps outside the French cities of Calais and Dunkirk and told World Watch Monitor that Kurdish Muslims in both camps antagonized him.
He said the Muslims in one camp who saw his cross necklace told him, “You are Kurdish and you are a Christian? Shame on you.” They wanted him to leave the refugee camp and threatened him, “We will tell the Algerians and Moroccans to kill you.”
The Christian convert was an art teacher in Iraqi Kurdistan and he helped in leading a church there. Though Kurdistan was his home, he was badly treated for his conversion. He said he was arrested and beaten for preaching in the streets, CNS News reports.
“In the mosque the imams talked about me, and my father, and my little brother, who became a Christian too… The imam talked about us – ‘they are kafir [unbelievers], they have to die,’ from the stage, into the mosque microphone. My father [a Muslim] was filled with shame,” he said. “They were taught bad things about us in the mosque: ‘The Christians are kafir.’ Of course, they [also] say you are slaves to Israel, to the American people.”
The church leader said converting to Christianity strained some of his relationships within his family, where his father and two brothers are imams. His father even tried to kill him with a knife.
He is now seeking asylum in Britain and would like to be a missionary and lead a Kurdish church in the UK.
Worldwatchmonitororg. (2016). World Watch Monitor. https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2016/11/4705683/