Descendant of Muhammad Converts

General February 8, 2007

Death Threats from Muslims - German Authorities Reject Asylum

Luedenscheid, February 6 (idea) - A Turk, who claims to be a descendant of the prophet Muhammad, has converted to Christianity in Germany.

Sedar Dedeoglu of Luedenscheid is involved in Christian outreach programs among Muslims. As a result he frequently receives death threats from Muslims unwilling to accept his conversion. His relatives also regard the apostasy as shameful.

If Dedeoglu returned to his native country, he would very likely be killed. Despite this threat the German Federal Migration Office and several courts of justice have rejected asylum applications by the Dedeoglu family. They claim that Christians are free to practice their religion in Turkey.

To avoid deportation Dedeoglu, his wife Husniye and their daughter Isil now hope at least to be tolerated in Germany as a "case of hardship". According to their attorney, Oswald Seitter, it is impossible to overlook the extraordinary danger the Dedeoglu family is facing.

For Muslims, he said, it is an undeniable fact that Dedeoglu descends from Mohammad's daughter Fatima and her husband Ali. In Dedeoglu's hometown Elazig in eastern Turkey they used to be revered as a holy family. According to Seitter the apostasy of a family member is regarded as an insult of the prophet himself.

Dedeoglu's case has become so widely known in Turkey that his life is in real and imminent danger. "We should rejoice that a such a person has become a Christian, and we should avoid any actions which could put his life in additional danger," Seitter told the evangelical news agency "idea". Seitter is an evangelical Christian and used to be the speaker of the synod of the Protestant Church in Wuerttemberg.

Dedeoglu came to Germany in 1997 and asked for asylum because of political persecution of the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Four years later he and his family converted to the Christian faith. They are members of an evangelical Brethren church.

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Evangelical news agency idea. Wolfgang Polzer

Tel: +49-6441-915102, Fax: +49-6441-915118

E-Mail: [email protected] - Internet: www.idea.de

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