Christianity on Trial


Research project on asylum processes based on the fear of religious persecution following a conversion to Christianity. Research is conducted at courts and churches in Germany and the UK. The project is led by Dr Lena Rose at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford.

Why does it matter?

How can one correctly assess the genuineness of a conversion to Christianity?

Can, or should, the assessment of a conversion be the role of the secular state and its legal decision-makers?

If so, how do state officials decide which forms and practices of Christianity are ‘acceptable’?

These and more questions require urgent answers – read on to find out how this project seeks to address them!

How is research conducted?

The project is interdisciplinary and cross-national. It consists of:

  1. Ethnographic methods, including (participant) observation at administrative courts and churches in Germany, France, and the UK
  2. Interviews with asylum seekers, pastors, church representatives, lawyers, immigration officials, and judges
  3. Legal analysis of asylum appeal decisions, first asylum decisions, and protocols in Germany, France, and the UK

Who can participate?

The study takes the perspectives of all those involved in asylum processes based on religious conversion into regard.

This can involve asylum applicants, immigration officials, judges, lawyers, translators, pastors, and representatives of church organisations.

Participants are recruited online, via court visits, churches, and through recommendations.

If you would like to participate, please get in touch!


Find out more about publications about this project, or related links, information, or material, by clicking here.

About the Researcher

Dr Lena Rose is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Researcher at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the Law Faculty at the University of Oxford. She is an anthropologist by background with interests in migration and refugee studies, religion, the Middle East, and socio-legal studies.

More About the Researcher

Get In Touch

  • +44 (0)1865 284247

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Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX