A group of Iraqi Muslims living in a refugee camp in Greece recently targeted a group of Iranian Christians who were holding a Bible study.
Members of the Bible study group are all converts to Christianity.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), citing the Christian organization 222 Ministries, seven Iranians crossed from Turkey to Greece in the area of Thessaloniki and ended up in a refugee camp south in Larissa. The Iranians met as a small group together, encouraging other Christians to join them.
On June 27, a mob attacked the Christians, threatening them with knives and beating the men. Two of the men were hospitalized. The Christians were also told to leave the camp.
The Greek policemen who were present did nothing as they were outnumbered by the mob of 30 to 40 people, according to 222 Ministries.
“Before I even woke up for my work, a lady called me and told me she was in the University Hospital because she and her husband were assaulted by a group of Muslims. I ran into the hospital and I found this beloved soul with her child, terrified, with jabs,” said Pastor Apostolos Theodorakos of the Free Evangelical Church in Larissa. “A group of 30-40 people had come… accusing them of being Christians and going to church. In fact, one took a liquid inside the container and someone tried to ignite a fire.”
The ICC said all of the victims of the attack have since fled to a safe house. A police complaint has been filed and a lawsuit opened against the attackers.
“Whenever a Muslim converts to Christianity, he or she does so at great risk. Muslim background believers are often shunned by their families and violently targeted by their peers, who regard them as apostates,” said Claire Evans, ICC’s regional manager. “Often they must flee their homes and begin life from scratch. It is no coincidence that these believers in Koutsochero were singled out by a mob and attacked.”
“While we are thankful that no one was seriously injured, it is alarming that this mob was allowed to continue their violence without police intervention,” she continued. “Those who perpetrated this violence must be held accountable according to due process of law.”
International Christian Concern is a non-partisan, charitable organization focused on human rights, religious freedom and assisting the persecuted Christian church around the world.