Deportation Orders and Hate Speech Towards Christians in Turkey on the Rise.

Churches are facing and increase in serious threats in Turkey, where hate speech against Christians in social and conventional media has increased and Church leaders are being deported, according to the country’s Association of Protestant Churches.

The findings come in a Human Rights Violations report for 2016, which especially highlighted hate speech incidents around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, conveyed through billboard advertisements, posters, leaflets, and online.

 According to the report, Protestant religious officials are being seen by the government as a “threat against national security” and some have been deported.

The report also records a number of other persecution incidents, including an amateur theatrical act on a street in the Nazilli district of the western province of Aydın, in which a group of traditionally costumed men were recorded holding another man dressed as Santa Claus at gunpoint on December 28, 2016.

It further covers multiple protests and attacks against Protestants in Turkey, including on February 25th last year, when a group broke the surveillance camera of Samsun Protestant church and tried to enter; on March 31st when police tightened security around all churches and Protestant institutions in Turkey, especially the Protestant church in Ankara and Radio Shema because of potential terrorist threats; and on November 22nd when the pastor of the Protestant church in Çanakkale was threatened over the phone.

The tiny Christian minority in Turkey are increasingly living in a climate of  hatred, threats and physical violence, and with increasing political repression and government-sponsored Islamisation; the church in Turkey needs our prayers.

  • Pray for the Church in Turkey, and for Turkish Christians facing growing opposition to their faith.
  • Pray for the Turkish government to be true to its constitution in allowing freedom of belief and worship for all people.
  • Pray for Christian mission workers in Turkey who face uncertainty, with a number of visas being refused and deportation orders issued. Pray for peace in the uncertainty, and for protection over local Christian workers caught up in the uncertainties and threats.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to move across this nation, the birth place of Christianity. Pray for many to rediscover their Christian roots and to know the truth of Jesus Christ as Saviour, Lord and King.

Isaiah 26 vs 3: “Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you.”

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