ISTANBUL, Turkey – 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 of Protestant Churches notes mixed indicators of improvement but states that there is a "root of intolerance" in Turkish society toward adherents of non-Islamic faiths.
"The removal of this root of intolerance is an urgent problem that still awaits to be dealt with," the report states. more >>
A 12-year-old boy from Turkey whose family converted to Christianity has been beaten and abused by both classmates and teachers after revealing his newfound faith, but the boy says he is happy to suffer for Christ.
Hussein, whose last name was not revealed in the CBN persecution report that shared his story, invoked the anger of his school by wearing a silver cross necklace to school. Christians are a distinct minority in Turkey – the CIA World Factbook reveals that Muslims make up 99.8 percent of the near-80 million population, while Christians and Jews account for only 0.2 percent.
It is not uncommon for Christians in the country to be targeted for their beliefs, but few are as outspoken and as open about their religion as Hussein. more >>
ISTANBUL – A large-scale Al Qaeda plot to bomb “all the churches in Ankara,” as well as the Turkish Parliament and U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital, was made public Friday.
In an exclusive splashed across the front page of the daily Taraf newspaper, contents of an official indictment against 11 alleged Al Qaeda militants arrested in July revealed the homegrown terrorist cell’s alleged plans to attack Ankara’s churches as well as their Christian clergy.
Prepared and filed by the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara, the 50-page indictment outlined the militants’ revised “jihad” strategy to begin focusing their attacks against Turkey before waging war against the United States and other countries. more >>
A website is suggesting that the remains of the biblical Noah’s Ark have been found near the summit of Mt. Ararat in Turkey, and the research team’s project leader has published a number of scientific articles claiming the legitimacy of the discovery.
The finding concerns a large, wooden piece measuring 24 x 123 feet from the Ark, which has been located deep inside the glacial ice 350 feet from the top of Mt. Aratat. The area has historically been associated with the possible spot where the Ark hit land after the ocean waters dispersed during the biblical account of the Genesis flood. According to the website, which is named Noah's Ark Found, talk of the Ark has been swarming the mountain region for thousands of years, though science has never confirmed its existence or location.
The creator of the research project, Daniel P. McGivern, president and C.E.O. of Shamrock, The Trinity Corporation, has posted evidence on the website seeking to change that and argue a strong case for the credible existence of the Ark and its location at the 17,000-foot mountain. The "Science Directs Discovery" section features links to various scientific articles that discuss evidence for the Ark, as well as photographs from the archeological site of the discovery, and sketches that seek to illustrate the dimensions of the ship and how it would have found itself on top of the mountain. more >>
ISTANBUL – Just hours before a deadly 7.2 earthquake struck Turkey’s southeast on Oct. 23, well over 3,000 visitors crowded into an ancient Armenian cathedral in nearby Diyarbakir for Sunday mass.
The mass was the first worship service in decades in the ancient St. Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church, which had fallen into serious disrepair in the early 1980s. Built 350 years ago and still the largest Armenian church building in the Middle East, it once served as the metropolitan cathedral of Diyarbakir.
In a private ceremony the following day, 10 ethnic Armenians who had been raised as Sunni Muslims were baptized as Christians in the restored sanctuary. All from one extended family, the Armenians returning to their faith said that their ancestors had converted to Islam during the Ottoman era (1299-1923). more >>
As of Thursday morning, Turkey’s death toll has risen to 534 after a devastating earthquake struck the eastern side of the country Sunday afternoon.
Turkey’s prime minister reported 2,200 buildings have crumbled under the huge 7.2-magnitude earthquake, leaving 2,300 injured and 185 rescued.
Rescuers and volunteers scramble to save those trapped in the rubble while Turkey’s winter quickly impedes their progress – snow and rain struck makeshift tented camps Thursday. more >>