Thursday, September 01, 2005


"Persecution against Christians in Turkey is becoming more overt. Along with the usual delays in granting permits to Protestant churches, Christians are seeing signs of open hostility -- both verbal and violent -- toward their faith. In a country where the victims of abuse are sued and plainclothes policemen can act like thugs with relative impunity, it is easy for Christians to get into trouble."

"On the same day that a Christian fashion designer was attacked by his employer, Istanbul police beat two Protestant converts in their early
twenties and told them they could not be both Turks and Christians.

These two believers were on their way to one of Istanbul’s 25 Turkish-speaking Protestant churches on August 7
when they saw an American Christian worker and his 3-year-old daughter surrounded by a
small crowd of police and civilians.

He had been exercising the legal right to distribute
Christian tracts on Istiklal Caddesi, one of
Istanbul’s main pedestrian thoroughfares, when two plainclothes
policemen accosted him. One of them grabbed his chin and shouted at him for
distributing literature, quickly drawing a crowd of police and passersby.

When the two Christians tried to intervene on behalf of the worker, whom they
recognized as a member of a local church, a scuffle broke out between one Turkish believer and
one of the plainclothes policemen. According to the other believer, about 15 policemen
forced the first one to the ground, where they kicked and hit him before handcuffing him
and carrying him inside a nearby building.

“That’s when I first realized they were police,” said
the first believer, whose plainclothes attacker never identified himself as an officer.
The policemen continued to beat him for three minutes before taking him to a
local police station with the other believer, who had followed the group inside.

“They never showed us any ID or read us our rights,”
the second believer told Compass as he described the following hour in the police station.
After finding 100 Christian tracts in his backpack, police accused the
youths of being “missionaries” who were bent on “dividing Turkey.” Although finally releasing them without filing any
formal report, they told the young men that they could not be both Turks and

For more of this story, and other stories of the persecuted worldwide Church, please join Compass Direct.
Compass Direct

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