Muslim migrants are converting to Christianity in their droves in the hope it will greatly improve their chances of winning asylum in Germany.
Hundreds of mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers have changed faiths at the evangelical Trinity Church in a leafy Berlin neighbourhood alone.
Many claim true belief prompted the move, but the decision undoubtedly boosts their chances of being granted asylum by allowing them to claim they would face persecution if sent home.
At a baptism, pastor Gottfried Martens asked one Iranian refugee Mohammed Ali Zonoobi: ‘Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds? ‘Will you break away from Islam?’
To which he fervently replied: ‘Yes.’
Martens then baptised him ‘in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.’
Zonoobi, a carpenter from the Iranian city of Shiraz, arrived in Germany with his wife and two children five months ago.
Martens recognises that some convert in order to improve their chances of staying in Germany – but for the pastor motivation is unimportant.
Many, he said, are so taken by the Christian message that it changes their lives. And he estimates that only about 10 per cent of converts do not return to church after christening.