Posted on September 1, 2011

Afghan Convert to Christianity Attacked at Norway Asylum Reception Center

Rob Kerby, BeliefNet, August 29, 2011

An ex-Muslim convert to Christianity was attacked with boiling water and acid by fellow detainees in Norway, according to Mohabat, the Iranian Christian news agency.

He was attacked by fellow countrymen who are Muslims at an “asylum reception center” in Norway on Friday, according to Mohabat, which serves Farsi-speaking Christians in Iran as well as nearby countries.

“‘Ali’ (not his real name), an asylum seeker in an immigration center in Jaeren, Norway, had boiling water poured over him after he would not comply with Ramadan fasting rules. He and the other converts at the center now fear for their lives. ‘If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you,’ was the message from the other asylum seekers at the Asylum Reception in Hå, in the Jaeren region of Norway,” Mohabat reported.

He refuses to disclose his real name for fear of further reprisals from them. If Afghan authorities found out about the incident and he were to be subsequently deported [back to Afghanistan] he risks being sentenced to death by stoning, he claims. Ali, his face distorted in pain, nevertheless maintains a calm voice as he told his story to Mohabat:

“Two of the Muslim residents asked why I had not fasted during Ramadan. When I would not answer, they began to discuss the matter. One of them said that he knew I was Muslim and converted to Christianity, and that they had to engage in Jihad.”

One resident held Ali while another struck him in the back of the head with a pot of boiling water and Ali collapsed to the floor. Several other Muslim residents joined the commotion. A third man walked into Ali’s room and began to trash it.

The police arrived, but only an hour later–the damage already done.

“I was still on the floor when police arrived. I told them a little, but was in too much pain to talk, so I was taken to hospital.

After a night in the hospital, Ali went back to the reception center, knowing that danger had not passed. When he checked, the door handle to his room turned out to be covered with an acidic substance that causes burns on contact.

He summoned the staff who washed away the chemical, but the Christian Afghan feel still does not feel safe.

“They’re really killing me,” he said in a message sent to Mohabat, “and they will not rest until they have done it.”