Thursday, September 30, 2004

Remember to pray for the Istanbul BCC Plan.

The contacts should have received their invitations to the October 10th Evangelistic Citywide Meetings. Tomorrow, Friday the 1st, workers will begin calling the contacts to personally invite them. Please pray for these phone calls and the people they represent that they will be responsive. Posted by Hello

Islamic Investing Rules

" Devout Muslims do not drink alcohol, eat pork, gamble, consume pornography or accept profits from interest — and any business that profits from these activities is haram, or forbidden. " : Mutual Funds: Islamic Investment Offerings

Turkey's human rights record better

"In a recent report, Amnesty International said reforms were still needed, warning that police have resorted to new torture tactics that leave no visible signs, such as depriving prisoners of food, threatening them with death, or spraying them with water."

Justice watch: keeping an eye on the law |

Turks still have to shake off "hordes of the Apocalypse" image

"To this earliest recollection of the Turks' parentage with the terrible Huns who ravaged Europe half a millennium earlier, traditional European history has added the more recent memory of the threat they posed to Christian Europe after their conversion to Islam in the 10th century.

The arrival of the "scourge of Christianity" on Mediterranean shores in the 11th century led to a series of wars between Christian princes and the Seljuk Dynasty, from whose ashes the Ottomans emerged in the early 1300s."

EU Business - For Europe, Turks still have to shake off "hordes of the Apocalypse" image

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Turkey: Christian church targeted by local officials

"Ephesus Protestant Church at Selçuk is to be sealed by the local council on the grounds that the corrugated roofing and metal poles of the veranda contravene building regulations. This is likely to be followed by a fine of $1,000 and the forced demolishing of the veranda. Although at least 20 buildings in the neighbourhood have a similar construction, only the church and one immediate neighbour have been targeted by the council. The veranda was already in place when the church fellowship bought the building which they now use for worship."

Dhimmi Watch: Turkey: Christian church targeted by local officials

Another Pakistani Pastor Kidnapped and Beaten

Not about Turkey, but please remember to pray for the persecuted church worldwide.

"The Baptist minister was abducted off a back street near his home after dark on Sunday evening, September 12. Walking home from a worship service, Masih was confronted by a bearded man who held a revolver to his side, warning, “If you try to resist me, I will shoot you and your wife and children.” - Another Pakistani Pastor Kidnapped and Beaten

Turkey backs off criminalizing adultery

"Adultery carries with it social and individual costs. But Turkey’s proposed policy is unacceptable, because, outside of incest, consensual sex between adults is not a matter for secular institutions to regulate."
Minnesota Daily : Turkey backs off criminalizing adultery

Islam and Turkey’s EU membership

A Pakistani author speaks out in Turkey's Favor:

"In its ardent desire to be part of Europe, modern Turkey jettisoned its Islamic character in favour of secularism about eight decades back; was in denial of its rich Islamic past and broke ranks with the Muslim world in its quest for a European identity. Isn’t it ironic that it is being told that its credentials for EU membership aren’t sufficiently sound?"

Daily Times - Site Edition

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What do Muslims believe regarding freedom of religious choice?

"Islam - like all religions - is whatever believers make of it. The choices for Muslims range from Taliban-style repression to Balkan-style liberality. There are few limits; and there is no "right" or "wrong" interpretation. Muslims have a nearly clean slate to resolve what "no compulsion" means in the twenty-first century."

Is Islam Tolerant? -- 09/28/2004

Erdogan, adultery and the EU

The Turkish PM created a stir by slipping new legislation making adultery illegal in a new reform package intended to bring the legal system in line with the EU.

"The justice committee of the Turkish parliament spent months working on the text of the new legal code, but that hadn't caused much excitement other than among those with a deep interest in the issue. That is until it suddenly became clear that, as part of the new law, the governing AK party intended to make adultery a criminal offence. Günter Verheugen, then European Commissioner for enlargement, is said to have responded to that piece of news by saying, "Is this a joke?" However, it was anything but a joke."

Erdogan, adultery and the EU

Turks.US - Fine-tuning for the EU

This article offers a good summary of the opinions for and against Turkey's membership into the EU.

"The opponents of Turkish entry argue that the candidate country's population is too large for the EU to digest; its economy is too poor to develop to the union's standards; it is not located in Europe and will stretch the EU borders to the unstable Middle East; and finally that it does not belong to Europe culturally as it is overwhelmingly Muslim."

Turks.US - Fine-tuning for the EU

Monday, September 27, 2004

BCC Istanbul Plan

Oct 10 is our first BCC gathering event in Istanbul. Over the past 2 years nearly 3800 people have contacted the Bible Correspondence Course and have entered into a dialogue about Christ. Over the next 3 weeks our team and several other Turkish and foreigner partners will be inviting all 3800 to attend meetings where they can hear a clear presentation of the gospel and interact with genuine Turkish Christians.

Please pray this coming week for all the mailed letter invitations to be received.
Pray on Oct 1, 3&4 as we will call all the numbers we have and personally invite them.
Pray as we send a cell phone SMS to all the cell numbers we have on Oct 10 reminding folks to come to one of the meeting locations.

Acts 2:41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them.

What is the Bible Correspondence Course (BCC)?

What is the Bible Correspondence Course (BCC)?

The BCC is an effort of several Great Commission Christians to put the
Turkish New Testament and basic Bible study resources into the hands of anyone who wants them, free ofcharge. The BCC runs ads in major national newspapers, sponsors free concerts, participates in municipal book fairs, maintains a resource-filled website, and lets good old-fashioned word-of-mouth do what it does best. When someone contacts the BCC-as 35,000 people have over the last three years-they receive an NT in their heart language and a basic study helping to introduce the significance of Jesus' life and death and why God desires relationship with us beyond just religious observances. Further studies and Turkish worship resources are sent on request.

The Next War in Iraq

This is a good, if long article, that helps explain the Kurdish situation in Iraq and the impact on the region.

"In July, the Turkish foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, compared Kirkuk to Bosnia and issued a veiled warning: “Everyone is aware that this is the issue that could end up being the greatest headache for Iraq.”

The New Yorker: Fact

Turkey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For some good, fun info on Turkey, check out the Wikipedia entry:

Turkey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Distant - Yahoo! Movies

This new movie was just released in the USA. It is an all Turkish production. See if it is showing in your area for an insight into Turkish life. Roger Ebert gives it a B.

Distant - Yahoo! Movies

Quran translation breaks new ground

A look at some of the controversy over a new translation of the Quran:

"But his introduction stresses that the Quran must be understood in terms of the context of the words in Muhammad’s own time, for instance on the pressing issue of violence. Examples:

•“Kill them wherever you encounter them” (2:191). Haleem says that meant only that Muslims had the right of self-defense, even if they were being attacked in the holy sanctuary of Mecca.

•“Wherever you find the poly-theists, kill them, seize them, besiege them, ambush them” (9:5). Haleem says the context shows such action was taken against unbelievers who repeatedly broke treaties and wanted to expel Muslims or force them back into paganism."

Journal Gazette | 09/25/2004 | Quran translation breaks new ground

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A New Church is Born

A New Church is Born

Today marks the beginning of a new Church in Istanbul, Turkey. Umut Kilisesi will have its first meeting today. The goal is to start a new church based off of small groups meeting around the city, which will eventually become multiple churches. Pray for the first small group as it meets today. Also, pray that new seekers would be drawn to this work.

A Religious-Freedom Blacklist Grows

Turkey was highlighted for positive growth in religious freedom in the annual Report on Religious Freedom for the last year.

"In Georgia and Turkey and other countries, major improvements were reported, though minority believers in those lands still face problems. Too often, in many nations, full religious freedom remains only a hope."

Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Turkish woman was beaten and threatened with beheading

"These are people who think they are living in the time of the Crusades," Tugrul recalled in a four-hour conversation at an Ankara café. "They say they are fighting for Islam first and Iraq second. They think their religion is being attacked."

IHT: An Iraq kidnapping victim's story

A Whirling Dervish talks about Islam and Christianity:

"Islam is a peaceful religion. Islam is not about hate," he said.

Those who misuse Islam for their own purposes, groups such as the Taliban, are not true followers of Islam, Nanli said. "I call them monsters." Religion - Whirling Dervishes perform at LSU 09/25/04

Friday, September 24, 2004

Aden - Reaching out to new communities in Istanbul

Aden - Reaching out to new communities in Istanbul

Aden is an art studio/cultural center/idea hub that reaches out to people of all walks of life from the center of Istanbul.

We use the artistic gifts the Lord has given to reach people with the good news. The people of this country love performances of almost any kind. Many national believers are interested in learning more about the arts in order to use them to proclaim His truth. One young woman is attending our visual arts workshop in order to improve her skills in order to paint quality pictures that make others ask questions about God and her beliefs. One congregation in the city wishes to learn how they can incorporate the arts in their services using them as new ways to worship God and encourage one another. Another group of national believers have taken skits with a Christian message, and spent their vacation traveling and performing in many homes.

The Lord has also allowed us to use our training to meet and reach out to a unique group of people that often segregate themselves. They are all gifted, often unique and at times eccentric. They are artists. We have been working with several professional artists who are believers, as well as expanding our relations with those who don't know the Truth. We have several projects planned which will bring believers and nonbelievers together while providing opportunities for spiritual conversation.

Please lift up the national believers who are striving to worship the Lord and reach out to their communities. Pray for the artists in the professional circles, as they strive to make the Lord a part of every project they undertake, may they shine forth to their colleges and may Truth be found in their works that are seen by large audiences. Also pray for the events that are approaching, that the Lord would be working in hearts and lives now and that He would use those events for His glory, perhaps adding a few new members to the family!

Where Istanbul comes together

Where Istanbul comes together

Istiklal Caddesi, is the center of modern Turkey. It is the busiest and most popular location, the place where people come to meet and be seen. Remember to pray for these people as they walk along this street, looking for meaning and the answers to the questions of the day.

Tolerant Islam?

A Pakistani leader defends Islam as a tolerant religion

Hi Pakistan

Turkey Still the Invader in Much of European Eyes

Here's a look at some of the barriers to Turkey's entry into the EU:

"I know one Turkish bloke," said the Viennese social worker. "He's got two wives. Neither of them can speak a word of German. He beats them up. He's got two sons as well. They're terrified of him. They're just different from us. We're Christians. They're Muslims. And these Muslims are getting more and more extreme. It's time to make a choice. I'm against it."

To read more, click here:
Turkey Still the Invader in Much of European Eyes

Thursday, September 23, 2004



New believers and old in a worship service after the baptism.

Christianity Today article talks about the impact persecution has had in this area

Awareness of persecution against Christians abroad does not necessarily result in political action because a third impulse sees persecution and martyrdom as biblically foretold and even necessary for the faith. Tertullian's famous dictum—"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church"—is often quoted by evangelicals and can be used to justify political quiescence. One can pray for the persecuted, feel inspired by their stories, even prepare for a similar fate. But to expect politics to ameliorate this situation may be fruitless or even counterproductive to God's plan of using martyrdom to build the global Church. This theological justification to eschew political action, in fact, was expressed by some evangelical leaders at the first strategy meetings convened by Freedom House in 1996.

One practical problem with this theological view is that it is naive to think that persecution always results in the growth of the Church. Sometimes the opposite is the case. Thus, the pressure on Christians in the Middle East has resulted in a dramatic decline in their population since the early part of the century. Since the early part of the twentieth century the Christian population declined from 35 percent to 5 percent in Iraq, 15 percent to 2 percent in Iran, 40 percent to 10 percent in Syria, and 32 percent to less than 1 percent in Turkey.

To read the whole article, click here:
Evangelicals' Conflicting Interests in Fighting Persecution - Christianity Today Magazine
God is working miracles. Just this month, three people were baptized in the Marmara region. Pray for this man and his family (his wife was also baptized), and another middle aged lady who have followed God in obedience and may provide the foundation for two new groups. Posted by Hello