Thursday, April 26, 2007

TURKISH CHRISTIANS FACE BACKLASH: Muslims kill 3 Bible distributor staffers

* 3 slain at Bible distributor in Turkey
* Update on the deteriorating situation for Christians in Turkey (Open Doors ministry)

Excerpts from newspaper story: "Last week saw the brutal murder of three evangelical Christians – two Turks and a German – working at a Bible publisher about 150 miles away in the city of Malatya. According to Turkish newspaper reports, the five young males arrested at the scene told investigators they committed the crime in defense of Islam....violent attacks against Christian targets are becoming more frequent. Last year, several evangelical churches were fire-bombed, and a Protestant church leader in the city of Adana was severely beaten by a group of assailants. Last February, Andrea Santoro, a Catholic priest working in the Black Sea city of Trabzon, was shot and killed by a 16-year-old....Some of the most forceful language warning against missionary activity has actually come from Turkey's secular establishment. For example, a 2001 report by Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) listed missionaries (along with Islamic fundamentalists) as a security threat. Last year, Rahsan Ecevit, the wife of late prime minister Bulent Ecevit, who was a paragon of the Turkish secular left, told the press that missionaries are working to divide Turkey and are paying Muslims to convert. 'We are losing our religion,' she said."
Please pray for:
* Turkish Christians to have courage to endure and thrive under such persecution
* Turkish Christians to have wisdom to know how the Lord wants them to operate effectively and fruitfully in this hostile environment, knowing that historically the Church grows in strength and numbers amidst persecution
* The Holy Spirit to move among Turkish Muslims and bring them to faith in Jesus Christ in record numbers
* For the Western Church to know how to stand with our brothers and sisters in Turkey as well as followers of Christ throughout the Muslim world