Turkey Celebrates Mosque Week While Churches Languish
10/05/2018 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Since 1986, Turkey has celebrated the first week of October as Mosques and Religious Officials Week. President Erdogan has used the past week’s activities to further entrench Islam into Turkish government, although the constitution says that Turkey is a secular government.
In the days leading up to October, Turkey has developed new plans for, and inaugurated several, new mosques both at home and abroad. This includes the announcement that the government will build a massive new center for Islamic studies less than a kilometer away from a Christian seminary which has been shuttered for almost 50 years.
Many Christians have repeatedly petitioned the government to allow them to open official churches and train their own pastoral leaders. Success has been minimal. Instead, the government under Erdogan’s leadership has only increased its pressure on Christians. Many report harassment, surveillance, and even legal cases opened against them because of their desire to openly practice their Christian faith.
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