Ministry to Muslims in Germany

Sun, Dec 10, 2017

Features, Germany, News

Pastor Krikiva speaks to conference

The LCMS International Disaster Response Conference, “Lutherans in the Midst of Disaster,” was held September 26-28 at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 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.

The German churches that have swelled with the influx of refugees face unique problems in serving their newest members.  Some common challenges include the need for bilingual services, counseling traumatized refugees, the large number of baptisms and trying to assist those facing possible deportation who are seeking asylum within the church.

In Germany, as well as some former Soviet countries, state and church are closely intertwined.  According to Rev. James Krikava, regional director for the Eurasia region, this presents a unique opportunity for mission work.  In many former communist countries, Krikava said, “Churches are expected to do mercy work.”  This has included mobile medical units, a pregnancy counseling center and a multi-purpose house for drug rehab.  In the Czech Republic, clubs are connected to churches. Mercy work and community outreach provide an opportunity to witness to Christ’s love in conjunction with Word and Sacrament ministry.

Article written by Cindy Wrucke

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