A View from Berlin

By: John M. Owen

The shock waves from the Paris terrorist attacks have disturbed Germans in particular. Their country has accepted an estimated 200,000 refugees from Syria’s civil war. Presumably most of these are fleeing persecution from either ISIS or some other horrendous rebel group, or from Syria’s Assad regime itself. Either way, in a real sense these are people fleeing religious persecution and seeking a place where their identity as a Christian, Yazidi, or the wrong kind of Muslim does not get them and their families killed. 

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Migration Crisis: Europe's Failed Response

By: Hope Zigterman

Around 3,000 migrants are waiting outside Calais, France, as they hope to make their way into Britain via the Eurotunnel. Each night thousands face guards armed with tear gas and clubs, and ten so far have died attempting to board the trains that will take them through the tunnel. The situation has gained the attention of the international media, as tensions rise between Britain and France, and traffic through the tunnel clogs up. 

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Uncertain Waters: The Refugee Crisis in the EU and Religious Freedom

By: Jacob Rudolfsson

Every year thousands of people seek asylum and better employment opportunities in Europe. Their journey is full of danger, and many times they travel across the Mediterranean Sea at the risk of their lives. In 2014 alone, at least 3,419 people died crossing the Mediterranean fleeing poor and war-torn countries in Africa. On April 19, 2015, a boat carrying 950 people capsized during an attempt to reach Europe. Only 28 survived. According to one survivor, at least 300 people had been locked in the hold by smugglers.

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Islam and Immigrants in Western Europe

By: Nancy Foner and Richard Alba

The plight of the many thousands of refugees attempting to enter Europe from the Middle East and northern Africa in a flight from war and persecution has captured the world’s attention. Those who survived the harrowing journey have sought asylum, hoping to build new lives in Europe, which offers not only the prospect of peace, democracy, and economic opportunity but also the possibility of greater religious freedom.

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Immigration, Segregation, and Religious Freedom in Europe

By: Joel Fetzer

Almost four centuries ago, a group of dissident Protestants left Europe for the New World in pursuit of greater religious liberty. At home, these Pilgrims faced fines and imprisonment for practicing their unpopular faith, and they believed that in America, they would enjoy more freedom of conscience. Though much has changed in post-Enlightenment Europe, many immigrant-origin religious minorities and practitioners of even formerly dominant religions still face legal challenges and public disdain because of their beliefs.

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