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.

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Turkish state blocks election of a new Armenian Patriarch

Turkish state blocks election of a new Armenian Patriarch

For the sixth time since the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the government of constitutionally “secular” Turkey has openly intervened in the selection of a new Armenian Patriarch to lead the nation’s largest Christian community. Now estimated at less than 40,000, Turkey’s Armenian community – located primarily in […]

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Bomb scare intimidates another church in Turkey

Trabzon church in a 2007 photo (World Watch Monitor)

Turkish police were called to Trabzon’s Santa Maria Catholic Church on Sunday morning (4 February) to examine a smouldering device spotted in the garden by alarmed church staff. After discovering a partially burned homemade pipe bomb, which had failed to explode, local authorities promptly checked the church’s security camera footage. […]

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Andrew Brunson, still in prison after one year, thanks people for praying for him

Andrew Brunson in a photo provided by his family.

American pastor Andrew Brunson has served one year as a prisoner in Turkey. Charges against him are unclear and recently Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed publicly that Brunson is being held as a political hostage. Brunson is one of an estimated 50,000 “suspected” public servants, academics, journalists and rights […]

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Historic Armenian Cathedral desecrated in southeast Turkey

Historic Armenian Cathedral desecrated in southeast Turkey

Eighteen months after the Turkish government seized control of the largest Armenian cathedral in the Middle East, secretly taken photographs inside Diyarbakir’s Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church reveal considerable damage to the sanctuary and walls of the now desecrated church in southeast Turkey. Published by The Armenian Weekly, the exclusive […]

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Turkey charges US pastor as ‘spy’; conviction would mean life in prison

Andrew Brunson in a photo provided by his family.

Almost a year after arresting him, Turkey piled on new charges of “spying” and “insurgency” against American pastor Andrew Brunson on 24 August, demanding four consecutive life sentences in prison against the 23-year resident of Turkey. Jailed since his surprise detention without charges last October, Brunson was eventually accused of […]

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