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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Len...

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - Turkey

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - Turkey

Project(s): 54-750

Country/Region: Turkey

Present-day Turkey includes the area where the seven churches of Revelation are located. Turkey, known to the Romans as “Asia Minor”, saw Christianity spread rapidly during the first century after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was here that several early Christian communities, such as the Ephesians and the Galatians, were found. The city of Istanbul used to be Constantinople, the capital of the Christian Byzantine Empire.

Turkey
This ancient baptistery in Turkey
is an example of the country’s long Christian heritage.
But Christians now make up only a tiny fraction of the population

Today this rich Christian heritage is mostly confined to ancient ruins. Christians make up about 0.12% of the Turkish population, as compared to 99.7% Muslims, and the majority are expatriates. From 1894 to 1923 more than 1.5 million Armenian and Assyrian Christians died in the Armenian Genocide under the Ottoman rulers of that time.

Turkey has been a secular state since 1924; however, Islam remains a major part of the identity of Turkish people. “Turkishness” is held to include being a Muslim, and Christians are seen as foreigners, even enemies to the Turkish state. Islamic and nationalist media often broadcast wildly inaccurate allegations against Christians, sometimes with serious consequences. One of the most horrific acts of anti-Christian violence occurred in April 2007, when three Christian workers, two of them Turkish converts from Islam, were murdered in Malatya by young Muslim extremists who pretended to be interested in Christianity.

Under Turkish law, religious services may take place only in designated places of worship, but minority religious groups experience difficulties in opening, maintaining, and operating them. However, in 2009 Christian leaders in Turkey marked the “Year of Paul”, the 2,000th anniversary of the year in which the apostle is believed to have been born. Many Christian groups from 30 different countries visited Tarsus, his birthplace. This prompted the Turkish government to extend indefinitely its consent for Christians to worship at the historic church in Tarsus.

Barnabas Fund projects in Turkey include:

Turkey General Fund (Ref. 54-750)
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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 4 hours ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

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