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Evan Edwards: 'It's a Happy Life'

Dr. Evan Edwards has released a new book titled It’s a Happy Life that recounts his experiences of imprisonment and abuse at the hands of Turkish authorities. Edwards writes, “You have what it takes! Believe! You are the one with the dream. You own it.”

Edwards told The Christian Post about his experience founding ASLAN International. “Through my drug-induced stupor, I heard a voice say to me, ‘Evan, you’ll never be like this again.’ That night, I heard the voice of God three times. The next day, I got on a public bus to go to church, and surrendered my life to Christ. And I have committed my life to helping the poor in crisis, one person at a time.”

“Later on, I founded ASLAN International, a ministry devoted to building nations by building up people. Our team works with the poor in crisis to share the love of Jesus. I moved my family to Turkey, and found myself in a world of adventure and risk. I have been arrested and harassed by the police and military in Turkey over 50 times.”

Edwards began handing out New Testaments to the Turkish people. “All of a sudden, hundreds of Turks began calling into my offices every week, requesting a copy of the Turkish New Testament. Then the stream turned into thousands of Turks who had never ever seen a New Testament or met a Christian finally receiving their very own copy for the first time.”

He describes the resistance to ASLAN’s work: “I got attacked on the street and beat up. I have jumped over fences, slipped out of side doors, and hid in the most unusual of places. Opposition came in the form of having my book distribution company closed by the government and having to report to the police.”

Reports of harassment and abuse of Christians are rather frequent. In 2010, a Turkish citizen was charged after holding a knife to a Christian man’s throat and threatening him for his practice. Also in 2010, two men accused of “insulting Turkish-ness and Islam” were sentenced after a four-year trial; they were fined $3,170.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made strides towards reconciliation, saying, “The times when citizens in our country were oppressed for their beliefs, their ethnic heritage or the way they dressed is over. In our country, no citizen is superior to another.”

The problem is that Erdogan’s statement only applies to citizens. The European Union has recognized this and has refused to allow Turkey full membership. Commissioner Stefan Fule stated: “Missionaries are widely perceived as a threat to the integrity of the country and to the Muslim religion.”

Edwards was not dismayed and encourages everyone to get involved in missionary work. Through ASLAN, over 500,00 copies of the New Testament have been distributed, and as Edwards says in his new book, “Every one of us knows in our hearts that we have to win. God plays the game by His rules all the time. His rule is that the last can be first, and sometimes the first are last. You are a winner!”

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