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[E] Turkish Muslim Persecution Of Christians

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 PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:27 pm    Post subject: [E] Turkish Muslim Persecution Of Christians Reply with quote Back to top

American Daily, OH
Dec 1 2003

Turkish Muslim Persecution Of Christians

By Grant Swank on 12/01/03
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In response to my post regarding Turkish hostilities against
non-Muslims, the following email arrived. It was speaking to another
email I had received from a Turkish Muslim who defended Turkish
Muslims, saying they practiced a religion of peace. Here is the
anguished email from a Christian:

"Ask him about the Armenian genocide that the Turkish government does
not even recognize in their history books. My grandmother was beaten,
stabbed and left for dead and her whole family killed, all in the
name of Muslims trying to eliminate Armenian Christians. The many
trials and tribulations my grandmother went through included a stay
in a concentration camp before she escaped for safer ground. But as a
God follower, I know God's hand was upon her to birth future
generations to work for His kingdom and I know the devil isn't too
happy about that."

Of course, Turkish Muslims have maintained persecution against
Christians; that's why it is very difficult for the Christian witness
to exist in Turkey. Probably the grossest atrocities against
Christians in the preceding century took place in Turkey. Paul
Marshall wrote in THEIR BLOOD CRIES OUT that "although Turkey is now
a country with relatively few Christians, this was not always the
case. Less than one hundred years ago, Turkey, or rather its Ottoman
predecessor, was about 30 percent Christian. This situation changed
when some two million ethnic Armenian Christians were massacred
between 1905 and 1918, a genocide which the Turkish government still
Many of the remaining Christians fled immediately. Others
facing death threats, systemic harassment, and discrimination,
followed them later."

World Evangelism Alliance reports the following: "While Turkey is a
secular state, tensions exist between religious elements that desire
stronger ties to neighboring Muslim states, and others who consider
Europe and secular politics as the way forward. The government's
aggressive promotion of secularism and its move to join the European
Union are causing the tensions to slowly and quietly escalate within
elements of Turkey's 99.64 percent Muslim-majority society.

"In Turkey, religious freedom is a Constitutional right and is upheld
by the government and the judiciary. However, some politicians, many
police and all Islamists are hostile to Christianity, which they see
as European and opposed to all that is essentially and historically
Turkish. They regularly use ambiguous laws to prosecute and harass
the Church. Several cases of harassment against churches are
presently before the courts.

"Those opposed to Christianity often use ambiguous laws as their
means to prosecute, harass and persecute the Church. While the courts
generally dismiss these cases, the court proceedings are costly,
stressful and intimidating. The harassment the Church suffers has
caused multitudes of believers to either flee or emigrate to a better

"The Turkish security police ordered the closure of the New Testament
Church that had been meeting for 40 years in Iskenderun. The reason
given in the directive: `Your activities will incite religious,
sectarian and dervish-order discrimination; will harm religious and
national feelings; and will create offense in the society.' Although
the church had been meeting in this location for the past 7 years
without any complaints, the directive also alleged that the church's
location had not been approved in the municipal zoning plan. The
church has employed a lawyer to prepare and file their case befor
the administrative courts.

"In Diyarbakir, Protestant pastor Ahmet Guvener has been charged with
making illegal changes in the architectural plan of his nearly
completed church building. However, the underlying objection voiced
to the council by the governor of Diyarbakir was over the building's
intended use for worship by Turkish Christians. Pastor Guvener's next
hearing is set for 8 October. These cases are examples of pure
harassment. Other Christian ministries have reported harassment also,
including the deportation of some foreign Christian workers. In spite
of this, there is much interest in the gospel and the Church is

According to John Mark Ministries: "For the few in Turkey who dare
profess Christ, life can be dangerous. Many believers have been
harassed, threatened, and imprisoned for their faith in Christ.
Evangelizing is difficult because Turks tend to place Christians in
the same category as Armenian terrorists."

So goes the tolerance of Muslims for Christians in Turkey. Muslim
religion is a religion of war against all non-Muslims. It is so
because of the Koran doctrine to wipe out all infidels, hence the
present-day Islamic slaughter of non-Muslims.

J. Grant Swank, Jr., Pastor, New Hope Church, Windham ME / Author of
5 books and over 2000 articles in Protestant and Catholic
publications. Weekly Lakes Religion columnist for PORTLAND (Maine)
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