Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Sunday, May 12th, 2013
As thousands of Syrians continue to arrive in neighboring countries after fleeing civil war in their homeland, Reuters recently reported that a camp in Turkey is being created solely for Christian refugees. In this article published by World Watch Monitor, Nuri Kino, a renowned Assyrian journalist, writes about his experience after visiting Midyat, the camp’s location in southern Turkey where he interviews local Christian refugees who are split about the idea. “I’ve met some Syrian Christians who think the camp is needed, and some who dread it will become a Christian ghetto and a sitting duck for terrorists,” Kino says.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
An unidentified man opened fire near a Church in Istanbul, causing a great panic. Tensions are high as another church was attacked by a mob not long ago. Police are investigating both incidents.
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
New Hope Church in Istanbul was attacked by a mob of over 30 people when they threw stones and eggs at the building. No one was injured, despite a significant amount of destruction to the property. Police are investigating the incident.
Friday, April 19th, 2013
Yesterday marked the sixth anniversary of the brutal murders of three Christians in Turkey. Though five suspects were arrested numerous stall tactics have allowed the trial to lag on without a conviction.
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
It’s been six years since the brutal murder of three Christians in Turkey. Tilman Geske, Necati Aydın and Uğur Yüksel were tortured before being made martyrs for their faith. Five suspects were arrested and their trial, as well as further investigations, has continued for the last six years and there does not seem to be an end in sight.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
A lawyer who has been key in the trial against the suspects in the murder of three believers has received a serious death threat. The threat comes during what seems like the never-ending trial. The trial began in November 2007, just seven months after the incident occurred, and continues to drag. This is in part due to “the prosecutors’ desire to prove the killings were part of a high-level clandestine scheme to undermine the government through acts of terror.”
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
A lawyer involved with the case of three Christians martyred in Malatya, Turkey in 2007 has received a death threat. Though it was not the first death threat that he has received, however with the high profile of this case, the threat is being taken very seriously.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
The case against the suspects in the “Zirve Murders” of three Christians in Malatya, Turkey in 2007 continues. What has long been suspected, the involvement of Special Forces teams, has been confirmed by the Turkish military. They say “Black and White Forces” were working “in close cooperation” with a clandestine intelligence unit which is known to be “at the center of several coup plots.”
Monday, April 1st, 2013
A retired General named Hursit Tolon was arrested in January for his suspected involvement in the Malatya murders of three Christians in 2007. The believers were tortured and murdered at the Zirve Publishing House. The General has again been summoned to court on other charges in relation to the “suspicious death of Turkey’s eighth president, Turgut Özal.”
Sunday, March 31st, 2013
It has been three years since the murder of Msgr. Luigi Padovese, bishop of Iskenderun, who was killed on June 3, 2010. Yet, despite all this time the Church is still waiting for a new Pastor. The Believers continue to remain faithful to the Lord.
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Hearings continue in the case against the suspects of the “Zirve Publishing House” murders, where three Christians were tortured before they were killed. A judge in the case recently spoke out, saying that there are “similarities” between these murders and that of two other murders. One of the lawyers on the case, Erdal Doğan, said, “The judge’s statements demonstrate to what extent he takes the indictment seriously. If he did not take this indictment so seriously, he would have neither made such comments…”
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
In 2007 three Christians were brutally massacred in Malatya, Turkey. The incident shook the nation and the case against the accused murderers is currently in courts, five years later. Two of the men killed were Turkish and the third was a German citizen. The wife of the German, Suzanne Geske, still lives in the country and has applied for Turkish citizenship, but has been denied. With the government encouraging German’s to living in Turkey to acquire Turkish citizenship, some wonder if she is being denied either for the fact that she is a known Christian, or because of the high profile case of her husband's murder.
Monday, March 11th, 2013
According to a recent poll, nearly half of Turkish citizens say they would not want a Christian as a neighbor. In this article, Mustafa Akyol explores the underlining reasons for Turkey’s intolerance toward Christians and other minority groups by examining the country’s Islamic roots under the Ottoman Empire and the changes that came with the rise of nationalism following the empire’s collapse in the early 1900s. Akyol argues that Christianity is despised by Turks because it is viewed as a national threat to the country’s “Turkishness,” rather than a threat to their Muslim heritage.
Sunday, March 10th, 2013
The Christian population in Iraq has been cut in half since 2003 as a result of war and rising persecution. The same appears to now be occurring in Syria. “In Turkey, the Christian population has dwindled from 2 million at the end of World War I to less than 100,000 today,” Peter J Leithart writes for First Things. “In Jordan half a century ago 18 percent of the population was Christian. Today 2 percent of Jordanians are Christian.” Though hundreds of thousands of Christians are fleeing their ancient homeland, there are thousands of Muslims converting to Christianity daily throughout the region, Leithart writes.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
A Turkish man who confessed to murdering two women from Ireland complained that he had been treated like “a Christian” during his trial. “[He] seems to assume that Christians are not, as a matter of course, treated the same way Muslims are in Turkey. Now where did he get that idea? Islamic law mandates second-class status and institutionalizes discrimination for Christians and other non-Muslims,” Jihad Watch reports.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
While Muslim women are now free to wear headscarves in Turkey, there are still numerous restrictions imposed on Christians and other minorities, Forum 18 News Service reports. In this article, Mine Yildirim argues that the country’s new constitution only allows “selective freedoms” and continues to discriminate against religious minorities.
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Suzanne Geske, the widow of a German missionary killed in Malatya, Turkey in 2007 is applying for Turkish citizenship for the second time after having lived 16 years in the country, Hürriyet Daily News reports. When asked why she would want to stay in Turkey after her husband’s murder, Geske said: “Returning [to Germany] does not make any sense to us after all these years, and my children did not want to leave… Since I strongly believe in God, I think that only God could protect me and my children. If God wishes, he will take me by [my husband’s] side, so I’m not afraid.” Geske’s citizenship application was reportedly discussed during talks in Ankara on Feb. 25 between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and local religious leaders.
Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
Encouraged by changes in the political atmosphere, nearly a hundred Assyrian Christian families have returned to Turkey from Eastern Europe in recent years. Nonetheless, Assyrians continue to face many problems, “from the expropriation of land belonging to a monastery, to a ban on special schools and kindergartens, and also a lack of places of worship in Istanbul,” Qantara.de reports.
Saturday, February 16th, 2013
A new uniform for female flight attendants, as well as the banning of alcohol on domestic flights has those against the “Islamization” of Turkey outraged. Islamic nationalist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been accused of, “plotting to 'Islamize' the country;” Something that has been seen since he took power in 2002. If this trend continues, increased persecution of Christians can be all but guaranteed.
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Religion was kept out of the public square for centuries in Turkey, but the country has become more Islamic with the “Islamic-oriented” AKP government in power for a decade. Turkish nationalists – the main persecutors of Christians and who believe in secularism – have become more active out of their disappointment, and could turn their anger towards religious minorities.
Thursday, February 7th, 2013
With no conviction for the accused six years after the infamous murder of three Christians in Turkey’s eastern Malatya province, the Christian minority is losing assurance that their interests are valued and ultra-nationalists feel emboldened that they can get away with killings.
Monday, January 28th, 2013
It has been over five years since the brutal murder of three Christians in Malatya, Turkey. The court cases have continued on during this time without a resolution. However, recently, documents were found on the computer of one of the suspects that reveal this murder was a “well planned ahead of time and in a calculated manner.”
Friday, January 25th, 2013
A plot to murder a pastor in Turkey was discovered and stopped by authorities. The case holds similarities to the murder of three believers in Malatya in 2007.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
After repeated postponements of hearings, Murat Altun was sentenced to 15 years in jail for the murder of Mgr Luigi Padovese in 2010. Since being arrested Altun has not held to one reason for the killing, blaming mental illness, Islamic rituals and other reasons. However, in 2011 he was deemed mentally stable and able to stand trial.
Friday, January 18th, 2013
In 2012 Christian pastor, Emre Karaali received a death threat which he reported to the police. Since then, the police have been working on a case to discover who wanted him dead. This week they arrested 14 people thought to be in on a plot to kill the pastor and his family. Unfortunately, some of those involved in the plot had been attending the pastor's church for over a year, pretending to be converts to Christianity. One was even baptized over the summer. While it is a relief that the pastor and his family are safe, this once again illuminates the dangers for Christians in Turkey, and the lengths their enemies will go to harm them.
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012
In a “win” that’s not so much a win, authorities in Istanbul gave land to Christians to build a church. While it is being touted as “a first in the history of the Republic,” for a non-Muslim minority to be granted the rights to build a new Church building, there’s a problem. The land is a Latin Catholic cemetery. The church applied over three years ago for property, but are not happy with the outcome. Some say, “It is clear that (the authorities) want to cause conflict between the minority communities.”
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
In further delays and suspicious moves regarding the trial of the accused murderers of three Christians in Turkey, the high counsel prosecutor was “was abruptly transferred from his position”. This is not the first delay in these proceedings.
Sunday, December 9th, 2012
The commission writing the draft for Turkey’s new constitution is nearing its December 31st deadline having yet to produce anything. Various political parties have been unable to reach consensus on many issues, including that of freedom of religion. The good news is that the topic of freedom of religion, and protecting the religious rights of minorities, is being discussed at all. Hope remains that the new constitution will provide adequate protections and rights in this area.
Sunday, November 11th, 2012
There are many different views of Turkey’s religious freedom beliefs. The country says that they support religious freedom, but their actions do not always support those statements. The 2011 Report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom states that: "The Turkish government continues to impose serious limitations on freedom of religion or belief, thereby threatening the continued vitality and survival of minority religious communities in Turkey." This article discusses legislation that may be passed in the United States Government that, if passed, would put pressure on Turkey to return Churches and property taken from Christians.
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
Christians in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East have been the killed, kidnapped, and driven from their homeland “by the forces of intolerant Muslim supremacism that were unleashed as a result of the so-called Arab Spring,” John Eibner, the President of Christian Solidarity International, told World Net Daily. “The biggest complication today arising from the threat of the eradication of Middle Eastern Christian communities is related to America’s alliance with Sunni Islamist states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey.”