The Association of Turkish Protestant Churches (TeK) and Middle East Concern has requested prayer in response to warnings from the Turkish Ministry of the Interior about the possible risk of terror attacks and the need to maintain security during church meetings.
As far as is known, this is a general precaution rather than in response to specific intelligence.
The Ministry of the Interior has requested that churches ensure they have functioning CCTV and that police or security personnel are present during meetings. Since two incidents at St Stephanos Catholic Church in Istanbul in summer 2014, the Ministry has appointed police to protect congregations during church services throughout Turkey. However, some churches have chosen to dispense with this protection. Church leaders who wish to forego a police presence are obliged to declare this in writing. The Ministry also recommends that all attendees are searched on entering church.
TeK is thankful that the Ministry is actively putting precautions in place to prevent terror attacks against the Protestant churches in Turkey and are also advising churches on how best to handle security arrangements, as well as stressing the need to be alert in prayer.
- Give thanks for the concern shown by the Ministry, and that security precautions are being taken by the Turkish state and police
- Pray that those who seek to harm churches will be stopped as a result of the precautions.
- Pray that churches will be diligent in taking the advised precautions seriously and caring for those who attend.
- Pray that people will not be discouraged from attending church because of the police presence.
- Pray that the state officials attending meetings will develop good relationships with the churches and have the opportunity of hearing the Good News and responding to it themselves.
- Pray for peace and protection over Turkey and the Turkish churches generally.
1 John 4 vs 4: “ Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.“