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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Turkey plans new global Islamic university

Turkey plans new global Islamic university

In an aggressive move to position itself as the intellectual center of the Muslim world, Turkey has announced plans to open an Islamic university similar to Egypt’s Al-Azhar, the oldest and most respected center of Islamic learning. Ankara’s announcement comes amid years of legal stonewalling for Turkey’s Christian minorities to […]

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Turkey closes down Protestant church

Turkey closes down Protestant church

Turkish authorities have sealed a Protestant church in Southeast Turkey and ordered its American pastor fined and deported on charges of “working illegally.” Lawyers filed a court appeal Sept. 26 to postpone the deportation, protesting what Turkey’s Association of Protestant Churches called an “absolutely arbitrary” ruling against the Gaziantep congregation […]

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Malatya murders fault of Turkish ultranationalists

Defendants at the 95th hearing over the murder of three Christians in Malatya, eastern Turkey told the Malatya High Criminal Court on 18 Aug. that a “parallel structure”, an ultranationalist cabal of retired generals, politicians, journalists and mafia members were responsible for the deaths. Prosecution lawyer Erdal Dogan said the […]

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Turkish Assassination Plot Suspects on Trial

Turkish Assassination Plot Suspects on Trial

Pastor Emre Karaali of the Izmit Protestant Church outside the courthouse after the first trial hearing.The sign behind him says, ‘Justice is the foundation of the state.’ Izmit, Turkey; April 1, 2014 World Watch Monitor   Testimonial evidence at a court hearing concerning a plot to assassinate a Turkish Christian […]

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Malatya murder trial postponed again

Malatya murder trial postponed again

Seven years after three Christians were tortured and killed in southeast Turkey, the Malatya trial’s 93rd hearing has been postponed for another 10 weeks, until June 23. Under judicial changes enacted last month, the murder trial set to resume on April 10 has been transferred to Malatya’s First High Criminal […]

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Sara got married

Sara got married

On March 8, International Women’s Day, many of the people in southeastern Turkey only want to discuss one thing. She is Sara, an 18-year-old Assyrian/Syriac woman, who was allegedly kidnapped by sympathizers of Huda-Part, Allah’s party, the Kurdish equivalent to Hezbollah. Others say she merely followed her heart and converted […]

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