Friday, July 31, 2009

Patriarch hopeful about historic seminary

Patriarch hopeful about historic seminary - Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul said he was hopeful Turkey would re-open a historic seminary that was shut down nearly four decades ago, the Anatolia news agency has reported.

The Greek seminary, on the island of Halki (Heybeliada) off Istanbul, was the main center of theological education for more than a century before Turkish authorities closed it down in 1971 under a law designed to bring universities under state control. The European Union has long asked Turkey to re-open the seminary to prove its commitment to human rights as it strives to become a member of the 27-nation bloc.

“We are hopeful that the seminary will open, and we are waiting on official news from the government,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Bartholomew as saying late Wednesday. “There has been a lot of talk so far, but no news from Ankara.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Compass Direct News
On a crowded street here last week a German businessman died after a Turk with a history of mental problems stabbed him for being a Christian.

Witnesses saw Ýbrahim Akyol, 26, stab Gregor Kerkeling in the chest on July 20 at 10:50 a.m. after following him out of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Istanbul’s central district of Beyoglu. Church security cameras captured the attack on Kerkeling, who regularly visited the church when he was in town for business.

Kerkeling, in his early forties, had just visited the church to pray that morning. Akyol, a Muslim who reportedly had been visiting area churches scouting around for a Christian victim, followed Kerkeling out of the church building and asked him for a Turkish lira. When Kerkeling refused and gestured him away, Akyol repeatedly stabbed him in the heart and chest area before passersby intervened. According to various news reports, an ambulance did not arrive in time to save Kerkeling’s life.

In a statement to the prosecutor, Akyol reportedly confessed that he woke up that morning and decided he would kill a Christian. He took a kitchen knife with him and went to Istiklal Street, a long pedestrian and commercial road where some of the main traditional churches are located, looking for a victim.

“I wanted to kill a Christian that day and was visiting churches for this reason,” he told prosecutors, according to the Hurriet Daily News. “I saw the person and killed him.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bishop Says Turkey Ready to Permit Permanent Church in St. Paul's Birthplace

Bishop Says Turkey Ready to Permit Permanent Church in St. Paul's Birthplace - News
Turkey's government has agreed to extend indefinite permission for Christian worship at an historic church in Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul, says the head of the country's Roman Catholic bishops' conference.

"I'm confident the church in Tarsus could soon change from being a museum to a center of spiritual pilgrimage," said Bishop Luigi Padovese, speaking after the close of worldwide commemorations to mark the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of St Paul.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Under the pretext of recovering from medical treatment he received earlier this month, a key suspect in the murders of three Christians in southeast Turkey dodged court for the second time, further stalling the legal process, prosecuting attorneys said.

Journalist Varol Bulent Aral, one of the suspected “middlemen” who allegedly incited five young men to brutally murder Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Christian Tilmann Geske at the Zirve Publishing Co. in Malatya two years ago, again failed to show at a hearing on Friday (July 17).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Iran interrupts Christian satellite channel

Iran interrupts Christian satellite channel
As the Iranian government cracks down on communication modes following its disputed presidential election, Christian satellite channels have been among its victims.

Terry Ascott, CEO of SAT-7 International, said many satellite channels, including the Christian channel, have been affected by the government crackdown. What is “strange,” he noted, is that the government has found a way to block channels beaming into Iran without jamming satellites that would affect the entire Middle East.

“Somehow they have developed a new technology to simply and simultaneously block access to multiple channels in the major cities – which is the first time we have seen such a thing,” Ascott told The Christian Post on Friday.

Since the presidential elections on June 12, Iran’s government has restricted cell phone and satellite signals in an effort to stop its citizens from organizing demonstrations against hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Orthodox leaders give message of unity in Istanbul

Orthodox leaders give message of unity in Istanbul | World | Reuters
The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church put on a united front on Saturday when they met for talks in Istanbul.

They were expected to discuss the sensitive issue of the churches in Ukraine and Estonia during the three-day visit to Turkey of Patriarch Kirill, enthroned in February to lead the Russian Orthodox Church.

Turkish Anti-Christian Conspiracies?

The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : Turkish Anti-Christian Conspiracies?
Turkey long has been allied with the U.S., seen as a bulwark against both the Soviet Union and radical Islam. However, ties have been fraying in recent years for a number of reasons. The Turkish public has turned hostile to Washington and Americans cannot even count on the friendship of secular nationalists.

Particularly disturbing is evidence tying the so-called "deep state," long viewed as a threat to democratic governance, especially by the moderately Islamic ruling party, to the 2007 murder of three Christians, a German and two Turkish converts. The crime was grotesquely brutal and cruel, yet public officials have seemed almost as willing to criticize the victims as the murderers.