Rev. Hugo Gevers, a pastor who works with Muslim refugees in Germany, spoke about “The Church’s Response to the Muslim Refugee Crisis in Germany.” He said, “The trend in Germany is that Christian churches are becoming dominated by migrant former Muslims, most of them fleeing from Islam and Sharia Law.” Much of eastern Germany is atheist, so Muslims have been a blessing by filling empty churches, which are now growing rapidly. Gevers estimated at least 65 of the SELK (Selbständige Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirche) churches in Germany currently work with refugees.
“How many bishops in accordance with Canon 1172 have trained anybody or appointed anybody in the diocese of Ireland to help our poor unfortunate people who are oppressed and sometimes possessed by these awful spirits,” Fr Pat said.
“They have abandoned the sheep.”
The Dublin priest said he believes there is a rising fascination with evil spirits in today’s world.
Duane Alexander Miller reflects on “Lessons Learned” by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark as they apply to other historic churches in the face of this historic opportunity of reaching refugees for Christ.
In 2015 there was that huge flood of people who came into Europe at Angela Merkel’s invitation. Most ended up in Germany and the consequences have been troubling. A good number also ended up in the small country of Denmark. Merkel’s invitation was to people fleeing from Syria’s civil war, but of course hundreds of thousands of other migrants came along as well. Denmark is trying to figure out how to be a place of compassion but also maintain rule of law. It is not clear to me that Denmark can do both things. The good thing though is that this means a lot of people are now in a context where they can hear the gospel. A lot of Muslims are not happy with Islam. They are looking for a way to know God and their neighbors without the sectarianism and violence we are seeing so much in the Muslim world today and now increasingly in the West. Christianity is the obvious destination.
“The clergy I spoke with there were quite open when talking about the rise in violence that has come with Islamic immigration. Yet they were also excited to do what they could to help people move from Islam to Christianity. One pastor spoke of 20 baptisms at the local parish. Another spoke of his desire years ago to be a missionary in Turkey but explained how it had not worked out, but then he realized that Denmark had a large Turkish population and that he could spread the gospel among Turks in his home country. A young man training for ministry at the university wrote me an e-mail after the lecture expressing his excitement to help the church move into challenging new places of ministry like this in order to connect not only to Muslims but also to the post-Christian secular population of Danes.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark and her Mission to Muslims
The Cathedral Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen
It started months ago when Søren Dalsgaard, who is a coordinator of the Christian Refugee Network in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark, e-mailed me. He had been looking for an expert on ministry to and among Muslims and ex-Muslims and he found me. My doctoral research had been on that topic and the thesis had been published as Living among the Breakage: Contextual Theology-making and ex-Muslim Christians(Pickwick 2016). I had also done some interviews on the topic for some Danish publications and a number of local Christians had read those.
He explained that numerous pastors who lived in multi-ethnic neighborhoods or close to asylum centers were being approached by individuals or families from places like Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sometimes…
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This seminar is designed to access Bonhoeffer’s thought on speaking to the “world come of age” for pastors and seminarians.
I hope to meet new and old friends there!
Here’s a short video: