09/21/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – A 15-meter high cross erected over the weekend in Greece’s Holy Monastery of Agia Skepi is visible in Turkey’s city of Edirne. Turkish President Erdoğan is anticipated to raise this as an issue while meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week. Greece and Turkey are currently entangled in a Mediterranean conflict which has heavily involved both NATO and EU member-states.
On the one hand, it is common for religion to become weaponized in conflicts between these two nations. Greece is primarily orthodox Christian, and many Greeks are descended from those who experienced the forced population exchange with Turkey and the Turkish genocide perpetuated against Christian ethnic minorities. Turkey has never acknowledged these wrongs, and is increasingly leaning towards Islamism.
Erdoğan’s reaction to the establishment of a cross within Greek territory sets the foundation for increased religious persecution within Turkey. He is growing hostility towards Christian symbols. Christianity is already greatly struggling to exist within Turkey, and this kind of hostility reinforces the idea that Christianity is not welcome within its borders.
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