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5/26/16

EU Refugee crises: AfD politician says churches ′making billions′ from refugee crisis

A regional leader from Germany's populist AfD party has accused churches of exploiting the refugee crisis to make a profit. Church organizations have hit back, describing the comments as incendiary and baseless.

Petr Bystron, the head of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the southern state of Bavaria, alleged Thursday that German churches were earning "billions of euros per year" from the surge in refugee arrivals in Europe.

"This phony public image of reaching out to refugees is also financing a gigantic charity industry under the organizational roof of the churches," he wrote in an article at Huffington Post on Wednesday.

Germany took in more than 1 million people in 2015 - more than any other European country. Church charities have played a significant role in providing resources such as counseling services and shelters for refugees. But Bystron said these organizations were making money "under the guise" of providing charity.

An AfD spokesman told the German news agency DPA that Bystron's position had not been endorsed by the party's national board.

Read more: AfD politician says churches ′making billions′ from refugee crisis | News | DW.COM | 26.05.2016

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