3 slaughtered while meeting with Muslims to talk about faith
By Michael Carl
“April 18 has been designated by an alliance of Christian groups as International Pray for Turkey Day in remembrance of three Christian missionaries who… were slaughtered for their willingness to discuss Christianity,” World Net Daily reports.
3/28/2011 Turkey (World Net Daily) – April 18 has been designated by an alliance of Christian groups as International Pray for Turkey Day in remembrance of three Christian missionaries who had agreed to meet with a group of Muslims as part of their ministry there and were slaughtered for their willingness to discuss Christianity.
A Christian film company, the Alliance of Protestant Churches of Turkey, and a Christian human rights group chose that day because it’s the fourth anniversary of the murder of Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German missionary Tilman Geske – apparently by five Muslim Turkish nationalists in Malatya.
Texas-born filmmaker Nolan Dean has captured their story in his recently released film “Malatya,” which he says came about through prayer and some happenstance conversations with a Turkish pastor.
Some analysts believe Christian persecution is on the rise in Turkey.
A report on Eurasianet.org shortly after the killings said the gang of five admitted that they “committed the crime in defense of Islam.”
A Turkey area specialist who asked not to be identified for security reasons says the murders are part of a general trend towards more opposition to Christianity.
“From my understanding, the last seven years or so have been a period of higher than normal persecution,” the analyst observed.
“As you know there have been murders of Christian minorities before and after the Malatya slayings, and church leaders are under a lot of harassment that just comes and goes,” the analyst said.
He added that many churches in Turkey need security.
“Churches have plain clothes police guarding the churches on Sundays. Some church leaders are even under 24-hour police protection. Attacks in the media and disinformation about missionaries and Christians was rife before and after the Malatya incident,” the analyst explained.
Even though Turkey is governed by the pro-Islamic law Justice and Development Party, the move towards an Islamic state is not the motive behind the murders, some suggest.
WND reported in 2008 a surge in Turkish nationalism is one reason for increased anti-Christian feeling.
Dean agreed and said some of the motivation comes from Turkish culture, which teaches that missionaries are terrorists and Christians are CIA operatives.
“It’s a connection between Christianity and the West, and nobody represents the West like America. And nobody represents subversion of those kinds of cultures like the CIA does,” Dean asserted.
“Whenever they say Christians are agents trying to ‘break up the country,’ that is immediately connected to all sorts of pop references that first come to mind. If they’re fans of most of our TV and movies over the past 50 years, they’re going to think of the CIA,” he said.