Thursday, May 13, 2010

End of week key for Christians in Turkey

Mission Network News
Friday and Saturday are two dates central to Turkey's Malatya Christian bookstore murder trial.

On Friday, a judge is expected to decide if he'll combine this case with another uncovering a plot to destabilize the Turkish government. On Saturday, a verdict could be announced in the trial dealing with the vicious murders in 2007.

Rody Rodeheaver with IN Network says there are two hopes: one is for justice, and the other is for truth. "The Christians really hope that this case will be put to rest. By that, they mean the sentencing of these five individuals. But they also are praying that this case will influence some of the other things that are happening."

Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, and German Christian Tilmann Geske, worked at a publishing house that distributed Christian material in this southeastern Turkish city. They were found brutally murdered three years ago.

As the case began to wrap up, a hearing on April 21 brought new evidence to light that indicated the perpetrators may not have been acting on their own accord. According to Compass Direct News, prosecuting lawyers asked the judge to join the Malatya murder case to a plot called the "Cage Plan."

The Cage Plan is thought to be part of a "deep state" operation to destabilize the government. Lawyers presented evidence that corroborated a plan led by retired generals, politicians and other key figures. More disconcerting, the evidence indicated this plan also targeted Turkey's Christian minority leaders, as well as some of their children. Hearings for the Cage Plan are expected to begin on June 15.

At the moment, it seems things are in limbo. However, there's a "silver lining" from the scrutiny. Rodeheaver explains, "This case served to bring about the reality that the evangelical church is a legitimate entity and that it is not the cult that it was made out to be."

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