Christians Persecuted and Driven From Their Homes — In Germany

The following account of an Orthodox Christian priest who was persecuted in Germany is appalling for two reasons: (1) the incident itself, and (2) the virulently PC account of what happened as published in Die Welt.

It was all I could do to finish reading the story, because I kept wincing every time I encountered another politically correct trope. The article trots out just about every PC/MC meme in the journalistic style book, including:

  • Islam is a Religion of Peace
  • The Tiny Minority of Extremists
  • Christians are Violent and Intolerant, Too
  • I Know Many Nice, Peaceful Muslims
  • Drawing Attention to Muslim Violence Might Help Radicalize the Extremists Even Further

…and possibly others that I failed to notice.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

Bochum Priest Flees Religious Violence

For years, the Orthodox priest Aleksejs Ribakovs was harassed because of his religion — apparently by Muslims. His is no isolated case. The Association of Christian Churches is now demanding consistent action against such instances.

by Till-Reimer Stoldt

Why in the world is Aleksejs Ribakovs sitting here? In this Düsseldorf restaurant, with his cup of coffee, telling a journalist how he was driven out of his own neighborhood because of his Christian faith? Ribakovs shrugs his shoulders and says: “Maybe because I was not driven out of Iran, but out of Bochum[1].” And possibly also because the perpetrators persecuted him — the Russian Orthodox priest — out of obviously religious motives.

“That could be,” he says, and adds immediately: “But I have nothing against Muslims. I am not angry.” And the 33-year-old priest gives such a friendly-concerned look through his glasses, that you can hardly doubt it. No, he will not tolerate any bad feelings in himself. Though he has all kinds of reasons for them.

It is a Sunday, going on 6:40 PM, when Ribakovs gets out of his car and goes to the house he is renting with his family. He has just celebrated mass, so he is wearing a black cassock with a large silver cross. In his right hand is a case with communion for the sick and liturgical books, in his left his mass vestment.

Then he sees three young men. Directly before his front door. One of them looks at him angrily and asks in broken German: “What is that you’re wearing, old man?” Ribakovs walks on, but instantly someone jumps him from behind and pushes him into the hallway. “I’ll beat you up so that you won’t be able to make a police report,” he says.

Then fists rain down on his chest and sides. A youngster spits massively into his face; they call him a “s**t Christian” and a “s**t priest.” And finally the leader says: “So” — pointing at the cassock with the cross — “you don’t show up around here anymore, capiche?”

When Ribakovs pulls out his cell phone and calls the police, the strangers flee. And, as he is still wiping the spit from his face, Ribakovs thinks: “This is too much.” Years ago, in fact, several Orthodox Christians had left the multicultural settlement — also because they felt persecuted on account of their faith.

And Ribakovs himself has been harassed for about five years in his residential district. In 2008 alone, he had to go to the police three times, because out of the 15 or 20 cars in the parking lot, his car was always being picked: once it was broken into and Christian music CDs taken out and stomped on; once it was urinated on.

Sometimes more disgusting things happened. And, as he tells it, whenever Ribakovs wore his cassock, he was insulted or looked at deprecatingly by women with headscarves and men “of oriental origin,”[2] as they spat at his feet.

But this time the Bochum police search was successful. Only a few days later, they caught a suspect who made a partial confession. A young, 17-year-old ethnic Turk. According to the police spokesperson, the accomplices could not yet be determined.

And yet the echo of this incident was that much clearer, after the police had informed him. Not only did the Union of Christian Churches (ACK) warn that such incidents threatened to strain the interreligious climate and must be resisted more systematically than before.

On Islamic websites too, the attack on the priest was seen in a larger context. Similar incidents from all over Europe were enumerated, where Christians were driven out because of their faith. And there were descriptions of how Muslims who had converted to Christianity were living permanently with death threats. In short: driving Christians out was gaining momentum — and now in Bochum too.

When Ribakovs saw his name and photo in the context of a rising religious war, he was horrified. What bothered him most was what he perceived as a too-sharp tone, this subliminal “That’s what they are all like, these Muslims.”

For naturally, of the approximately four million Muslims in this country, only a tiny minority is noticeable for its hostile, criminal acts against Christians. Only a few dozen of that kind of attacks have been documented. On the other hand — isn’t that too many? And wasn’t Ribakovs himself shocked that such hatred of Christians is possible in a country based on Christianity?

Yeah, well, he can sort of understand the concerned Islam critics. Yet he warns against a “dangerous generalization to the detriment of Muslims” — and against hatred. For the sake of fairness. For the sake of health of the heart. For the sake of Christian duty.

That is why Ribakovs prayed — even as he stood horrified in his front hall and watched the fleeing perpetrators — that God would give him the strength to forgive them. And in fact, as he sits and sips coffee in the restaurant, he affirms that he is not angry. He feels compassion for the youths, who are likely too down-and-out to find a respected place in society.

As if he wanted to drive anger out of himself, he recalls that sometimes (nominal) Christians are the perpetrators and Muslims the victims, as with the Muslim woman, Marwa El-Sherbini, who was stabbed to death in Dresden by a right radical Islam-hater.

Aside from that, Ribakovs keeps in mind how many likable Muslims he knows himself. For instance his school friend, Ruslan, a Tatar, who encouraged him in his desire to become a priest, Or his neighbors in Querenberg, for example the Iraqi from the seventh floor. When he learned what had happened to Ribakovs, he hastened to tell him: “Show me the boys, and I will have a talk with them.” Or the ethnic Turk from the sixth floor who always greeted him so politely and at Christmas wished him a “happy holiday.”

Besides friendly feelings for many Muslims, however, the priest is also driven by something less pleasant — fear. Ultimately, incidents like this could spark hatred. Not only on the part of non-Muslims but also “in Islamists who see their religion brought into opprobrium by my story.”

Therefore, he would not publicly claim that he was attacked by putative Muslims. He would only characterize the culprits as “disrespectful half-psychopaths.” And then for a moment, Ribakovs is not peering through his glasses in a friendly-concerned manner, but seriously and urgently. “I owe my family this caution. Do you understand?”

At this moment, the priest is transformed into the caring father and husband. Who could hold that against hum?

And it is a feeling of responsibility for his family that is driving him out of Bochum-Querenburg. The new apartment has already been found, the rental contact signed, his daughter registered in school. Naturally far from Querenburg. But no matter how much this move protects his family, in one respect Rubakovs is haunted by it: The culprits could now count his change of domicile as a success, a victory.

And suddenly, Ribakovs knows why he is sitting here in the restaurant — with a coffee that has meanwhile become cold — and telling his story. Because no one should believe that those who were driven out will still be quiet in the face of violence. No, everyone should know what happened there in Bochum-Querenberg.


  • Aleksejys Ribakovs celebrates mass.
  • Aleksejys Ribakovs


1.   Bochum is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, between Essen and Dortmund.
2.   Once again, the quotation marks are mine (the translator’s) to mark this inane euphemism, which is also much employed in the UK.

31 thoughts on “Christians Persecuted and Driven From Their Homes — In Germany

  1. It’s difficult to feel sorry for someone who feels the need to declare how his tolerant Christian soul is incapable of hatred against those who despise him. People like him are the reason for our downfall, whether they are dressed as Christians or Social Justice “Warriors”.

    • I agree, people like him are the reason for the downfall of the West and why the Church is silent on the slaughter of Christians in the ME. He got his just reward.

      We need the muscular Christianity of Pope Urban II not this toxic, watered down feel good, no judgement idiocy promoted in the churches today.

      Takuan Seiyo wrote in a article sometime back that Christianity is suffering from a form of “extreme Yin sickness” IMS or utter passivity. It cannot even make a effort to condemn evil anymore or save itself.

      When I first read it, I didn’t believe until I started bringing up certain subjects to mainstream protestant church goers. What a bunch of worthless wimps with a death wish. And the general silence of Christian churches in regards to the slaughter of Christians in the ME only serves to validate my opinion.

    • The Orthodox Christian Priest by the way conducts a liturgy not a mass.
      Liturgy is the work of the people/congregation and THAT is the Greek meaning.
      Mass is LATIN. No biggie. Just for information.

      I find it refreshing that the Priest does try so hard to forgive. Those who do not forgive, the Lord God will not forgive.

      I hate that he HAS to leave the area. I know his church family needs him. Perhaps his Bishop will send a 6 foot 8 inches monk , 350 pound , former Russian Soldier in his stead. I know of at least two like that. Not that they would fight anybody , but they look VERY scary sometimes.

      I have no say in this but take comfort in this verse from the Bible:

      The Lord is still in charge and He will make these events serve HIS purpose.

      My Greek Orthodox Godfather who is a priest, reminds me VERY often of that fact…. he knows, I am such a slow learner. and just as willful as I can be sometimes. uh… often. : (

      I keep trying though.

      All things work for good for those who love the LORD.
      PRAY HARD.

      • Sometimes prayer is not enough. Sometimes action is better. The Lord does not help those who do not help themselves. Six million dead Jews prove that rule rather convinvingly. I suggest the good priest arrange his own protection from the community he serves. If they are unwilling to protect him, then he should give up on being their pastor.

        • I believe he did leave the area.

          Perhaps like I said a more formidable looking priest might also be the answer.

          Bullies like to take on those they think they can best.

      • As a Christian I am sick and tired of this milquetoast sentiment constantly bandied about, virtue-signaling weakness as if only prayer will work.

        Remember this, Kat, and remember it well:

        Strong. Evil. Beats. Weak. Good. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.


        • Priests in our belief are already STRONG in the faith.

          They may not be Priests if they are ever violent.

          THIS is actually just between them and God.

      • Sorry.
        You have your theology WRONG.
        FIRST, the malefactor must repent. This is absolutely critical and one of the foundation stones of Christianity and the forgiveness of sin. Once THAT happens-REPENTANCE –an internal thing of the soul, then you may, or may not, forgive. Then God in his wisdom does as He wills. That is how it works.
        Forgiveness is NOT some whitewash that you spread willy-nilly over all and sundry, whether it is needed, or wanted , or heeded or desired. No.
        Clearly this was not the case with these muzzieturks. This talk of his ‘forgiveness’ is mere blather by one who should (and most likely DOES–but can’t admit it) know better.
        Like it or not, ours is NOT a religion of wimps.

        • I disagree.

          Do good to those who hate you . Pray for them too. Guess Jesus was just a wimp to you for saying those things??

          Nice if a muslim would take up that repentance idea BUT he will not. He is after all the child of a hate filled allah.

          I know you really want that priest to fight back , but he will not. He will live on to serve another day, one prays.

          Read the description of this icon.

        • There’s a phrase in the Lord’s Prayer (“and forgive us our debts/trespasses as we forgive our debtors/those who trespass against us”) that speaks to this incident with the Orthodox priest.

          I’ve said it more than once to my after-liturgy friends: If I’m only going to be forgiven as much as I *have* myself forgiven, I’m hip-deep in sheep dip on Judgement Day. And I’m not even a full Orthodox yet, just a catechumen (like a confirmation student in other traditions).

          Fr. Aleksejys *is* full Orthodox, obviously. The religious duty to forgive lies heavily upon him; that’s why he’s moving away–perhaps he won’t have to forgive incidents like this one in his new location, he tells himself. Many Orthodox priests, deacons, bishops, and other faithful died for the faith in the communist USSR. The priests and other ordained persons are prohibited from carrying weapons; the others no doubt simply didn’t have any or followed the examples of the clergy.

          I hope my efforts to become Orthodox don’t founder on the right to self-defense….

          • Do lay Orthodox deny themselves the right to bear arms to defend themselves? Or just the clergy?

          • Lay Orthodox are permitted to defend their homes. There are historical accounts of Russian (or Greek, depending on the location) armies being blessed by Orthodox clergy before going out to battle.

            The Big One in this regard was the Battle of Kulikovo (1380) between Muscovy Russia and the Mongols. St. Sergius of Radonezh, not yet a saint, blessed the assembled Russian forces, “but only after he was certain Dmitry [ruler of Muscovy Russia] had pursued all peaceful means of resolving the conflict.” See and

            There is no explicit record, but it would be surprising if Russian forces were not also blessed before the clash between Prince Alexander Jaroslavich of Novgorod, later named Nevsky (in honor of his victory at the River Neva) against the Teutonic Knights and the Duke of Sweden, who were participating in the Northern Crusades. These Northern Crusades evidently weren’t as scary as the Crusades against the Muslim holders of the Holy Land; the Northern Crusades were intended to enforce conversion of Orthodox Christians to Roman Catholicism. The Russian forces won both phases of the Battle on the Ice, and Russia remained Orthodox. Poland, Lithuania, and allies remained Catholic (well, Sweden was Catholic until the Reformation).

            So yes: Orthodox laity are encouraged, if not instructed, to defend their homes/homeland in arms. There’s a mention of “armed monks” in the article on Kulikovo; monks aren’t clergy unless they take *additional* vows and have *additional* training beyond that needed to be a monk. Pretty much like it is in the West, since both traditions grew out of St. Anthony of the Desert (aka the Great) and the Benedictine Rule.

    • One thing most of you do not know…. an Orthodox Priest is NOT permitted to do violence to anybody. The muslims seem to know this and take full advantage of the situation.

      During WWII A Serbian Orthodox Priest traveling with the resistance forces of General Draza Mihalovic ( royalist not commie) in Yugoslavia, killed a German soldier who was about to murder two elderly people .

      Even though he had no choice he gave up his priesthood and was a soldier from that point on.

      This is JUST the way of the faith. I do NOT expect you join the faith but I hope you would give the Priest “credit” for taking a beat down and NOT raising his hand to his attackers, just as he swore to do on the Bible and the Cross.

      YOU and I , may not be able to do that but the Priest took the beating and humiliation just as did Jesus before the crucifixion .

      • I doubt it’s against the rules to speak out against evil, nor to identify the causes of it. By prevaricating the issue, he was effectively covering up the source of the evil.
        His persecution went on for years and yet the moslem community did nothing to stop it, a Christian community would not be so lax in clamping down on violent radicals within it.
        Were the situation reversed with moslems being targeted by Christians, everyone from the local priest to heads of state would be condemning such actions, social groups would be demanding action, police would be guaranteeing the protection of local moslems, it would go on and on.
        Such cheek turning doesn’t prevent hate, it emboldens the attackers to continue and expand their attacks.
        And it worked, they got rid of him.

        • He did speak out about what happened to him quite a few times. Ignored and quite frankly, I believe they ignored him on purpose !

          Muslims have ALWAYS been friends with GERMAN authorities … even during WWI and WWII.

          I think they are still bigoted against the Orthodox Christian. After all, they did not recognize the Armenian genocide until this year.

          The Orthodox Christians of the world have never been high on the GERMAN LIKE LIST!
          The Orthodox Christians of Europe and Armenia were called by Hitler , ” Christian Jews ” and many were imprisoned in the death camps and at least 1 million murdered. MANY clergy from Greece and Serbia were among the dead. The Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church was imprisoned in Dachau along with many monks from Mt. Athos.

        • The Jewish view seems to arise from the question “Will this action (or inaction) decrease evil and increase good in the world, or the reverse?”

          The principle favored by this Orthodox priest (and Attack Kat) seems to arise from the question “Will this action (or inaction) make me feel that my soul is pure?”

          The latter principle is more likely to allow evil to grow and visit itself upon others.

  2. Where is the Christian anger that Christ himself displayed by turfing the money-lenders out of the temple for polluting a holy place? Who is now polluting Germany? A religious culture which believes in slavery, the inferiority of women and the persecution of people with a more noble morality than theirs.

    But it is the Western political elites and their lying Marxist PC ideology that need to be attacked, first and foremost!

    • I know righteous anger…. but we humans are NOT Christ and he told us to be slow to anger .

      So, PRAY HARD for Divine Grace and Providence.

      It can be a huge struggle to LET GOD!

      • I’m sure the Christians of Constantinople said the same thing. The grey haired denizens of the modern church who failed to impart their religion onto their own children can pray all they like, salvation is only going to come with a strong arm and willing heart.
        In any case, doesn’t god only help those who help themselves, meaning the wastrels who do nothing to improve their situation are doomed.

        • First, that “helping your self …” is not a verse in the Bible.

          I do not find the lack of religious education here or any place I have visited. So I do not know what you mean about not teaching the religion????

          As to Constantinople, the priests fled into the walls of Hagia Sofia. The Emperor rode out to meet the enemies of Christ and die fighting them.

          Every Orthodox Church I know has a lot of Religious education for all ages. Our church has classes per age group , even SENIORS, for Bible studies .

  3. Who cares if most muslims are peaceful? They don’t matter. Most sociopaths aren’t killers, either. But it only takes a few. 19 on 9/11.

    • I must admit the story of what happened to him made me angry… but angry mostly at the authorities who are REALLY allowing this to happen.

      They are falling down on the job and so is the ENTIRE government who hires the police, makes the policy, to JUST basically ALLOW ALL THE BAD STUFF TO HAPPEN .

      Then make little or no attempts to punish the evil deed doers.

      Frustrating, evil and VERY annoying governments act that way.

  4. Speaking as one of the Clergy, I find this cowardice very usual. I tend to tell it as it is. This makes me unpopular with my fellows- and more than one wanted me “defrocked”- becuase of my strident views on “Islam”. These “Bishops” I consecrated myself, only to find one was a close friend of some Moslems and in “dialogue” with them. For me there is nothing to discuss with such evil. Likewise a priest or Bishop has an absolute obligation not to indulge it.

    The “Bishops” finally backed of when my Patriarch informed them that a Bishop consecrated by myself could not “defrock” me, since it would destroy their own lines of succession from St Peter and is strongly denounced in Canon law and in effect not valid unless my perceived crime (“Islamophobia”) was really serious. Defrocking a Bishop is a very serious business.

    I on the other hand can excommunicate them for insolence and failure to do their duty by speaking against evil. Frankly the likes of the above Greek priest are all tto common, while pains in the rear like myself are a rarity.

    • I take it you are not Orthodox.

      Once a man in our church said to another person in a conversation after a Dinner that he thought muslims were “godless”. This was also overheard by our Archbishop and he kindly took the man aside . I do not know what was said to him but I did see the man apologize to the Archbishop. I can read lips and sign by the way.

      That being said I asked a priest about this ” godless idea” and was told that no man should call another a fool or godless as this is a decision God decides. I think it may be more complicated than that.

      I happen to be quite imperfect myself and say that I DO NOT believe the muslim allah with the “wh–e house ” in the sky is the same GOD and heaven Jesus promised Christians.

  5. How kind and altruisric to one another should we be? There must be a scientific answer. How would we get this answer? If you think about Darwin’s survival of the fitest, and look at animals, you find toughness and a pretty harsh world. I am a gene and I will do anything to survive. But modern theories of evolution suggest also that reciprocity between species can prolong survival of both groups. But, in the long run, it is hard to believe that such squishy priest DNA would survive very well. But, no final answers here.

    • Darwin was an atheist and his theory does not really fit here as he did NOT believe we have souls which we just might be trying to save, over and above the mortal coil.

      • Darwin was a devout Anglican (Episcopalian in the United States) until he discovered psyllid wasps. These wasps lay their eggs in the bodies of, among others, horned tomato worms. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae eat the tomato worm’s insides to nourish themselves, WHILE THE WORM IS STILL ALIVE.

        Darwin was so repelled by this discovery that he is said to have declared that no just god, no loving god, could possibly have set this mechanism in motion. That’s when he became an atheist.

        Myself, a gardener usually beset by horned tomato worms, attempt to entice psyllid wasps into my garden. I’m sorry for the worms (they can be as long as 3″ and a circumference of 1″), but I’m even sorrier for losing the chance to harvest my own tomatoes….

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