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.
Nineteen suspects accused of inciting the brutal 2007 murders of three Christians in eastern Turkey went on trial before Malatya’s Third Criminal Court in early September. With the court’s acceptance in June of a third indictment in the case, known as the “Malatya Massacre” in the Turkish media, allegations against […]
After a memorial service for three Christians who were murdered in Malatya, Turkey five years ago today, an Istanbul pastor who was attacked over Easter weekend said he’s experienced hostility from Muslims nearly all his life. Semir Serkek, 58, pastor of Grace Church in Istanbul’s Bahcelievler district, said he personally […]
Sentiment against Christians in Turkey has persisted long enough for a U.S. religious rights monitor to recommend it as a “Country of Particular Concern,” and pastor Orhan Picaklar knows such anti-Christian hostility first-hand. Picaklar, of Agape Church in Samsun, lives in the Black Sea region, a bastion of Turkey’s unique […]
Judges in Turkey’s southeastern city of Malatya have announced the preparation of an indictment in the case of three murdered Christians that is expected to reveal a shadowy network that incited five young men to carry out the crime. The Third Criminal Court of Malatya is expected to announce the […]
In an unprecedented meeting, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey last week expressed his concerns and hopes for the country’s Christian minority to members of the Turkish Parliament. The visit took place in Ankara after Speaker of the Parliament Cemil Cicek invited Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to […]
Despite some promising developments, Christians in Turkey continue to suffer attacks from private citizens, discrimination by lower-level government officials and vilification in both school textbooks and news media, according to a study by a Protestant group. In its annual “Report on Human Rights Violations,” released in January, the country’s Association […]