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05/28/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – This past Tuesday, an Armenian church in the Turkish area of Kuzguncuk was found defaced. The cross that usually hung on the door was dismantled and laying on the ground.

From the church’s security tapes, it was observed that an unidentified person came to the church on Friday evening, scaled the church’s gate, and dismantled the cross. The security footage was shared with the relevant officials and an investigation is ongoing. The cross is now remounted on the church door.

Vandalized churches are a common occurrence for Armenian Christians living in Turkey. Two weeks ago, in Bakirköy, an individual attempted to burn the door of an Armenian church. Earlier this month, the Turkish magazine Gerçek Hayat had published a special 176-page edition which targeted leading members of religious minorities in Turkey. Armenians and other Christians were accused of participation in terrorist activities and blamed for the failed 2016 coup attempt. The magazine is expected to be in circulation through the fall. It is common for persecution incidents to increase whenever hate speech in the Turkish media is published.

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