|Sources of Persecution||Islamic Oppression|
|Leader||President Recep Tayyip Erdogan|
Turkey: Growing Control.
Turkey’s national identity does not include Christianity. For over a decade Turkey has become increasingly Islamic and moved away from secular governance. Christians have found in this time that Christianity has become less and less accepted. The government has also become more restrictive. Monitoring of citizens has increased and major crackdowns on media have occurred. This spiked after a failed coup in 2016. Due to its location Turkey has experienced a large influx of refugees and has ongoing tension with its different neighbours. Attempts to become more Islamic have not helped with this and the government has aspirations to become a regional power.
While Christians make up a part of the social fabric they are more tolerated than accepted. This outworks itself in different ways, for instance only some churches can be registered. Of those who can register, they are not allowed to train their staff. Christians also find that as a result of their religion it is difficult to find employment. The most intense persecution is felt by people who convert from a Muslim background. Though there is no law against this they face even greater discrimination. They often have to endure criticism and pressure from their families.
From Dominant To Vulnerable.
Christianity and its spread in Turkey appears in the book of Acts. Even before Jesus' death and resurrection, his story was already spreading in Turkey (Acts 19). After this time Christianity spread through the country and became the main religion. This lasted from the first century AD until 1453 when Muslim invaders conquered Istanbul. From that point Christianity continued to shrink but has always been present. Today there are constant reminders of the sort of dominant rule that Muslims have. Over Ramadan in 2016 the Hagai Sophia, originally built as a church, hosted Islamic prayers.
Pray for Christians from a Muslim background to remain firm in their faith.
Pray for more churches to be able to register and reach more people.
Pray for peace between Muslims and Christians, and for opportunities to share the gospel.