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06/24/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkish citizen Mazlum Serin was recently sentenced to five years and four months in jail for “damaging places of worship and cemeteries.” On May 23, police found footage of him breaking a cross off the door of the Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Armenian Church in Istanbul. He was arrested a week later.

Armenian churches in Turkey are no strangers to vandalism and defacement. News of a vandal being arrested and charged is welcome, as attackers against Christians often escape justice. An arson attempt was made on an Armenian church in Bakirköy about two weeks prior to this incident. No news of an arrest has been published.

Turkish media also perpetuates and even encourages these incidents, making it even more common for justice to remain fleeting. Turkey’s media is mostly state-run and it frequently posts hate speech directed toward Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities. These instances of hate speech are often linked to an increase in persecution incidents.

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