Illegal Occupation of Monastery Continues in Turkey
10/01/2018 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – For the past forty years, land belonging to the St. Augin Syriac Orthodox Monastery located in southeastern Turkey has been illegally occupied. Multiple promises have been made that the land will be returned to the church, but no action has followed. The local Christian community requests renewed prayer that the situation will come to a speedy resolution.
It is common for the church in Turkey to face legal challenges which go on for years, even decades, without any resolution. The situation of the church has only become harder since the coup attempt in 2016. As President Erdogan consolidates his power, he repeatedly uses language pitting the cross against the crescent. As a result, society is increasingly viewing Christians as inherently foreign, even though modern Turkey is the location of most of the New Testament.
Generally, Christians in Turkey’s southeast face an extra difficultly unique to its geography. Turkey considers the southeast as a warzone with the PKK, which is recognized by the US as a terrorist group. This puts anyone who has a connection to the Kurds, including those who are forced to go through any administrative process determined by the local governing Kurdish authorities, at risk of being marked by Turkey as a PKK collaborator.
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