Since the failed coup of July 2016, the level of intolerance against those not siding with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has intensified. Turkish nationalism, combined with the growing Islamisation of Turkish society, means the tiny Christian minority, and other religious minorities, face mounting pressure, which is increasingly translating into violent incidents. While religious conversion is not prohibited by Turkish law, there are serious implications for Muslims who convert to Christianity, as they often experience intense pressure from family, friends and community to return to Islam.

Sort By date
Filter by Tag
Category

Could Brunson’s release ease Turkey’s diplomatic standoff with the US?

Could Brunson’s release ease Turkey’s diplomatic standoff with the US?

After the slipping Turkish lira nosedived dramatically yesterday, losing a record 5 per cent of its value in one day, unnamed Turkish diplomatic sources confirmed to CNNTURK today that a government delegation from Ankara is heading to Washington within two days to discuss escalating tensions between Turkey and the United […]

Read More

US to Turkey: Release pastor Brunson or ‘face the consequences’

US to Turkey: Release pastor Brunson or ‘face the consequences’

US Vice President Mike Pence has said that America will impose “significant sanctions” upon Turkey if it does not release American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest and allow him to return to the United States. During remarks delivered on 26 July in Washington, DC, to the Ministerial to Advance […]

Read More

Home after 21 months, but US pastor Andrew Brunson now can’t leave house till October trial

Home after 21 months, but US pastor Andrew Brunson now can’t leave house till October trial

A crowd of Turkish Christians from Andrew Brunson’s Izmir Resurrection Church greeted their pastor with cries of “We love you, Andrew!” as he arrived home under police escort on Wednesday afternoon, 25 July. After nearly 22 months in detention, Brunson was released at 5.30pm from Izmir’s Kiriklar maximum security prison […]

Read More

US pastor Andrew Brunson to be moved from prison to house arrest, but can’t leave Turkey

A photo of the Rev. Andrew Brunson during his time in prison.  Photo courtesy of World Witness

The US pastor Andrew Brunson is being moved from Kiriklar prison to house arrest in Turkey after a court ruling today, 25 July, a leader of the Turkish Protestant Church has confirmed direct to World Watch Monitor. The same source confirmed that Brunson’s wife is on her way to the […]

Read More

Hopes dashed for release of pastor Andrew Brunson as Turkish trial to continue in October

Andrew Brunson (World

Hopes were dashed for the imminent release of an American pastor jailed in Turkey on terrorism charges as a Turkish court today ordered him to remain behind bars. The court scheduled Andrew Brunson’s next hearing for 12 October. Some observers had believed that Turkey might release Brunson, who has been […]

Read More

America ups the ante over Pastor Brunson’s detention

America ups the ante over Pastor Brunson’s detention

The American Charge d’Affaires in Ankara has said that Turkey’s continued detention of pastor Andrew Brunson on spying and terrorism-related charges is impeding US-Turkish relations. Philip Kosnett said there is a “strong sense of unity in Congress between Republicans and Democrats” on the need for Brunson to be released and […]

Read More

Turkey returns confiscated Syriac church property deeds

Turkey returns confiscated Syriac church property deeds

Syriac Orthodox Christians have welcomed the Turkish government’s return of 55 title deeds, representing nearly half of their ancient church properties in southeast Turkey, which had been confiscated by the state in recent years. Fifty of the official property deeds were delivered to the Syriacs’ 4th century Mor Gabriel Monastery […]

Read More

Brunson’s lawyer: secret witness practice ‘absolutely outlandish’

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt speaking with journalists at the entrance to the Sakran Prison complex on 7 May, 2018.

At the close of Turkey’s second trial hearing against US pastor Andrew Brunson, his lawyer has sharply protested the Izmir court’s reliance on secret prosecution witnesses against his client. Jailed for the past 19 months, the 50-year-old Evangelical Presbyterian minister was sent back to his cell in a maximum-security prison […]

Read More