By Michael Ireland
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS)— A group of Iraqi Muslims living in the Koutsochero Refugee Camp in Greece on June 27 attacked a group of Iranian Christians who were holding a Bible study. These Christians are all converts and are active in sharing their faith.
According to International Christian Concern (www.persecution.org) citing 222 Ministries, seven Iranians had “crossed from Turkey to Greece in the area of Thessaloniki and ended up in a refugee camp about 150 km south in Larissa. While they were there, they met as a small group together in one of the Conex containers they were housed in, gathering a few others.”
“Somehow, they came to the attention of the other camp residents… a mob formed on Sunday night as they were holding a Bible Study meeting. The mob attacked them, threatening them with knives and beating the men, resulting in hospitalization for two of them. The two women and two young children were also threatened with knives. Petrol was poured into their Conex. They were called ‘kaffirs’ and told to leave the camp. One of the men had a previous heart condition and the attack caused him to pass out. An ambulance was called but the mob tried to prevent its entry into the camp. The Greek police present did nothing, being massively outnumbered by the mob of 30-40 people,” the 222 Ministries account stated.
Pastor Apostolos Theodorakos of the Free Evangelical Church in Larissa said, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
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.
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Whenever a Muslim converts to Christianity, he 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. 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. Those who perpetrated this violence must be held accountable according to due process of law.”