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11/14/2018 Turkey (International Christian Concern) –  According to various news sites, a group of students in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Samsun have protested against Christian Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit last month. The students protested the visit by hanging the Turkish flag on an ancient church.

The students said that the Patriarch was seeking to establish a Pontus State. This is a reference to the Ottoman’s systematic genocide of Greek Christians who once called this and other parts of Turkey home.

Generally, nationalism in Turkey is expressed in two contradictory ways. Secular nationalism upholds the ideas of modern Turkey’s founder, Ataturk, and advocates for the private practice of faith. Religious nationalism stems from Turkey’s Ottoman history and advocates for a restoration of the country’s Islamic past.

Both types of nationalism have left Turkish Christians caught in the middle and have contributed to the types of persecution which believers face. Hate speech and small protests against Christians is commonplace.

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