ICC Note: Historically speaking, Turkey has been one of the great persecutors of the Church. From individual instances to total genocide of the Armenian Christians just over a century ago. Now in the wake of a failed coup, with a stronger than ever Muslim president and a country in a state of emergency, concerns grow for the future of Christianity in the nation. One of the greatest concerns comes with the Turkish National Security Council determining that Christian Missionaries are among Turkey’s greatest security problems.
07/21/2016 Turkey (Christian Today): Concerns are growing for the future of Christians in Turkey, the birthplace of St Paul, in the wake of the failed coup.
Two churches in eastern Turkey in places already known for historic murders of Christians were vandalised during the attempted coup, reports Middle East Concern.
Blogger Adrian Hilton of Archbishop Cranmer writes that President Erdoğan’s school of Islam harks back to the Ottoman Empire and he is often called “Sultan”. Erdoğan leans toward a school of Sharia which would criminalise adultery and ban alcohol, he says.
He asks: “Which is the lesser evil? The serious alarm of military coup – which is never the answer to anything – or a democratically-elected leader who seeks to create a ‘proper’ Islamic state, replete with its rather robust notions of unity and brotherhood?”
According to Tony Perkins writing at FRC Action, what should be “of concern to all” are the implications for the future of the Christians and other minorities in Turkey.
“Given Turkey’s history of genocide against the Armenian Christians between 1915-1923 (an atrocity which Pope Francis recently recognised), with an estimated death toll of 1.5 million, the 120,000 Christians now living in Turkey are most certainly concerned.”
He says the persecution and killing of Christians in Turkey is continuing and just under a decade ago, several Christians were lured into a house and horrifically tortured and slaughtered. Churches are being shut down and Christians suffering regular abuse and slander.
Earlier this year, a suicide bomber murdered five people in a Christian village the south-east of the country and last Christmas, some Muslims objected to Christmas celebrations and demanded death to Christians.
“Most disturbing, however, is the fact that the Turkish National Security Council determined and announced that Christian missionary activities are one of the nation’s major security problems,” writes Perkins.