PHOTO: © Eva Creutz

Die Unterstützung und Situation atheistischer Flüchtlinge – Die Säkulare Flüchtlingshilfe stellt sich vor

In the organizer's words:
Lecture and discussion with Paul Franke
In Germany we can count ourselves lucky: We can criticize religious authorities and lead a life free of religion if we want to. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many people in Africa and Asia. The lecture is about precisely these people - their problems, dangers and opportunities - and how we at Secular Refugee Aid try to help them after they have fled to Germany:

When non-religious people flee from countries where political Islam dominates, they are not concerned with economic improvements, as many of them come from wealthy families. Nor are they fleeing from war, as many of them come from countries that are nominally at peace. Non-religious people flee because they cannot accept the fundamentalist norms of their home countries and therefore have to fear for their lives. In their home countries, non-religious people are often threatened by their own families, who see their "honor" in danger and want to silence the non-conformist member by any means necessary. They are threatened by states in which apostasy is punishable by imprisonment, torture and death, or by zealous Islamists who feel they have the task of bringing the "infidels" to their "just punishment". Under such circumstances, secular-minded people are prepared to give up everything they have: Prosperity, friends, family, their homeland - everything, for the hope of a free and self-determined life! For a long time, the German state failed to recognize these special motives of secular refugees. In some cases, the responsible authorities even made the erroneous assumption that those who did not belong to a religion could not be religiously persecuted, which is why they were not granted the status of "religiously persecuted refugees" as a matter of principle.
In recent years, Secular Refugee Aid has repeatedly succeeded in drawing attention to this situation. In addition, we have addressed the endangerment of Saudi refugees or ex-Muslim activists in Germany in programs such as auslandsjournal, Fakt, Frontal 21 or in Deutsche Welle reports. They are still being persecuted here too. We also brought the information from Iraqi atheists into the media, warning of the activities of violent Islamist militias in Germany. This resulted in articles in Weltspiegel and Deutsche Welle, which took a closer look at these organizations and were able to inform the public. Thanks to its unique access to atheist activists from different regions of the world, Säkulare Flüchtlingshilfe gains early insights into social developments, especially in the Islamic world, which are otherwise difficult for Western societies to access. We were also invited to the EU Parliament to explain these aspects.
Young people from strongly religious countries in particular represent a new group of asylum seekers who have not yet been represented by an organization. These people have experienced what it means to live in an intolerant system in which the most basic human rights are not respected. Not only have they lost their homes, families and friends, they have also left their religion and many aspects of their culture behind. They have to reorient themselves from scratch. That is why an organization like the Secular Refugee Aid is indispensable. It takes these people in and gives them support for the start of a completely new life.

How many people come to us for help? Which countries do they come from? What can politics and the humanist community do to make life easier for atheist refugees in Germany? In our lecture, we will try to shed light on all this and invite discussion on how to integrate foreign atheists and secularists in Germany.

Paul Franke was born in 2001, is studying "Social Work" in the dual study program and has been an honorary board member of the Secular Refugee Aid since 2022.

A joint event by DA! and Säkulare Flüchtlingshilfe and the Cologne alliance Das Private ist politisch.


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salon des amateurs Grabbeplatz 4 40213 Düsseldorf

Organizer | Event Series

Humanistischer Salon des Düssedorfer Aufklärungsdienst e.V. Köln

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