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01/25/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – After being forced to leave Turkey after 19 years, Canadian-American pastor, David Byle, has filed with the European Council of Human Rights (ECHR), Europe’s top human rights court. Alliance Defending Freedom International has filed on his behalf.

ICC’s recent joint Turkey report, highlights the deportation of Christians as one of the country’s major human rights violations and persecution against the believers living there. Byle’s filing is the first case to make its way to the ECHR. According to the report, at least 63 cases of deportation have occurred since 2019. Not all of these incidents have entered the court system, but those that have are denied in lower courts.

Byle has been a pastor in Istanbul for years before his unjust deportation in 2016. At that time he was able to receive an allowance to stay until his case results were determined. He later faced an arrest in October 2018 and was ordered to leave within fifteen days. He learned of his permanent re-entry ban after attempting to return from Germany.

Byle and ADF’s success in bringing the case to the ECHR provides hope for the future of expatriate Christians living in Turkey and has the potential to set a new precedent.

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