Date Thesis Awarded

4-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Religious Studies

Advisor

Michael Daise

Committee Members

Michael Daise

Mary Fraser Kirsh

Alexander Angelov

Jennifer Gülly

Abstract

This thesis examines the lives of Iranian Christian refugees who have filed for religious asylum in Austria. Each chapter presents a different legal and political phase Iranian Christian converts face in transitioning from life in Iran to the European Union. At the first stage of their journey, Iranian Christian converts are forced to live under the Islamic Republic of Iran. Upon fleeing their country, Iranian Christian refugees must adapt to the asylum laws of the European Union and United Nations. Refugees then file for asylum in a European Union member state; this thesis focuses on refugees who have filed for religious asylum in Austria. As Iranian Christian refugees integrate into Austrian society, they are able to openly practice their Christian faith for the first time. To conclude, this thesis presents personal interviews with five Iranian Christian refugees, which provide an intimate glimpse into the lives and faith of Iranian Christian refugees.

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