Muslims are converting to Christianity in Germany.
An orthodox priest baptizes a man in the Black sea during a ceremony marking the adoption of Christianity in the town of Yevpatoria on July 28, 2010 REUTERS/Stringer

Muslim refugees seeking asylum in Europe, particularly Germany, have been converting to Christianity in droves, Agence France-Presse reported Friday.

Since 2015, nearly 900,000 Muslim migrants have arrived in the country, leaving behind families, jobs and, in some cases, even their Islamic faith. Although church leaders weren’t able to confirm exactly how many Muslim refugees have converted from Islam to Christianity, there have been reports of various pastors baptizing hundreds or even thousands of Muslims at a time over the last three years.

Conversion and baptisms was becoming a growing trend among migrants from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran and Syria, Felix Goldinger, a Catholic priest in the southwestern region of Germany told AFP. Goldinger, who has been handling a group of 20 people looking to be baptized in the Christian faith, said many of the refugees looking to convert have turned to Christianity after witnessing the horrors of terrorism in the name of Islam in their home countries.

“They see Christianity as a religion of love and respect for life,” he said.

Pastor Albert Babjan, who has baptized 196 Afghans and Iranians in Hamburg so far this year, told German news site Stern that he expects to help up to 500 people who are “disappointed” in Islam convert to Christianity by the year’s end. One young woman, who was baptized in May, told Stern the reason she converted was because she was “looking for peace and happiness,” but couldn’t find it in Islam.

“In Islam, we always lived in fear, fear of God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. Christ, on the other hand, is a God of love,” one woman, who only went by the name Solmaz, told Stern in regards to her May baptism.

While Goldinger said there were many people who had a “strong desire” to make the switch to Christianity for personal religious reasons, there are some Muslims who are under the impression converting will help their chances of remaining in Germany.

In many of the countries from which refugees have fled, converting to Christianity is punishable by jail or even death.

Pastor Matthias Linke of the Free Evangelical Church in Germany told AFP that he is often contacted by the state Office for Migration and Refugees in regards of Muslims converting to Christianity in an effort to keep their asylum. However, the pastor said there was no way to guarantee if migrant conversions are motivated by genuine interests in the religion or if people are just trying to avoid being sent back to their home countries, which could potentially put them and their families at even greater risks if their conversion became known.