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Lent Prayer - Turkey

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Lent Prayer - Turkey

Project(s): 54-750

Country/Region: Turkey, Middle East and North Africa

"The rhetoric employed by some of the [country's] leaders, besides the prejudices formed by the public, deeply saddens us." (A church leader in Van, Turkey)

Doctors provide free medical care to poor Christians

A team of Christian doctors and a nurse provided free medical care to poor and needy Christians in Istanbul for one week in the summer of 2011, thanks to Barnabas Aid

Despite having the veneer of a modern, free and secular state, Turkey is not an easy place for Christians to live out their faith. Christians face much societal discrimination and occasional violence. They must also deal with suffocating bureaucratic restrictions from the government, which severely impede the growth of the small Christian communities.

Some of Turkey’s Christian groups have a rich heritage dating back to Biblical times. But now Christians comprise less than 0.1 per cent of the total population, while the overwhelming majority is Muslim. “Turkishness” is held to include being a Muslim, and so Christians are viewed with suspicion. They are often portrayed very negatively in the media. Christians who shared their faith or taught Christianity to children have sometimes faced harassments, even though freedom of religion is upheld in the constitution. Several pastors have reported received threatening telephone calls or messages, necessitating police protection. Converts from Islam are especially vulnerable to harassment, and Islamism is also gaining strength.

In 2011 the government promised to return some of the property previously confi scated from Christian groups and has indicated that Turkey’s constitution will give better protection to Christian minorities.

Pray that the government will be inspired to reform its laws on religious minorities, so that Christians will be free to have their own places of worship, educate their children and talk about their faith. Give thanks that the congregation in Van received a licence and pray that more congregations will do so. Pray that the media will stop broadcasting inaccurate allegations against Christians and that the general atmosphere in society will become more accepting towards Christians. Pray for perseverance for believers from a Muslim background under pressure to return to Islam. Pray that the government will follow through on its recent promises to return confi scated church property and protect the rights of Christians.

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This article is taken from

Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent 2012” -  Download.

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