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 among Muslims. As a result he frequently receives death threats from Muslims. His relatives also regard his ‘apostasy’ as shameful.
Despite these threats the German Federal Migration Office and several courts of justice have rejected asylum applications by the Dedeoglu family. They claim Christians are free to practice their religion in Turkey.
To avoid deportation Dedeoglu, his wife Husniye and their daughter Isil, still hope to be allowed to stay in Germany on grounds of ‘hardship’. According to attorney Oswald Seitter, it is impossible to overlook the extraordinary danger the 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; the apostasy of a family member is regarded as an insult to the prophet himself.
Dedeoglu’s case has become so widely known in Turkey that his life is in 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, who used to be speaker for the Synod of the Protestant Church in Wuerttemberg.
Dedeoglu came to Germany in 1997 and asked for asylum, due to 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.