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Dezember 8, 2008 um 12:21 am #25812ArmaganVerwalter
By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
SAMSUN, TURKEY (ANS) – Christians in Turkey are living under a shadow of fear as the result of a violent backlash by nationalist hardliners.
According to a story by Laurence Lee on the Al Jazeera web site, there are about 120,000 practicing Christians, and while they are legally free to practice their religion, many say they suffer discrimination and persecution.
Al Jazeera reported that Orhan Picaklar, a Christian pastor, said he has faced the wrath of the hardliners as a result of his ministry.
According to Al Jazeera, towns like Samsun, in the Black Sea region, where Picalkar works, have traditionally been nationalistic, religious and filled with angry young men who don’t want to be told to change their way of life.
Picaklar was recently kidnaped by young members of a radical group who told him they wanted him to stop teaching.
“Our church was stoned, they tried to kidnap my son, they did kidnap me (and) they put our pictures on YouTube. They spoke to all our friends, bosses and relatives of everyone who come to our church, so as to distance them from us,” Picalkar told Al Jazeera.
He added, “They say we have prostitutes in the church; they blame us for being subversive elements.”
Despite police protection, Al Jazeera reported that Picaklar still fears for his life and says his telephone conversations are being tapped.
Pickler told Al Jazeera that national fundamentalists have threatened his friends and relatives in the past, and even attacked the church where he preaches.
Al Jazeera said that violent attacks against Christian missionaries in the country have so frightened many pastors and their families that they prefer to stay inside their houses.
Al Jazeera commented that accused of actions which include funneling funds for the west and implanting agents in the region, the missionaries are on the receiving end of hardliners who believe them to be representatives of western powers with an agenda of undermining Islam.
A Long Hatred
Al Jazeera commented that mistrust and hatred of Christianity have been embedded in the culture of the Black Sea region of Turkey for decades, even centuries. It goes back to the days of the “crusades” and the First World War, when the Christian minority in Turkey sided against the then Ottoman empire.
As a result, Al Jazeera said, anyone considered to be a promoter of Christianity is basically considered as once again attempting to take Turkey away from the Turkish people.
Recent attacks on Christians in Turkey have been vicious, Al Jazeera said, including the torture and killing of a group of missionaries in the town of Malatya. Three youths are currently awaiting trial on charges relating to those attacks, but despite the arrests, Christians in Turkey remain concerned about their safety and well being.
The Christian Viewpoint
Al Jazeera reported that Christians claim it is the youth wing of Turkey’s hardline nationalist party which promotes the attacks.
However, representatives of the nationalist party told Al Jazeera that any form of violence against Christians was absolutely wrong, though they suggested that Christians could be working for western powers to undermine Islam.
Al Jazeera reported that Gokhan Ozekin of the “Alperen Houses”youth movement told the news service that Christian missionaries have definite goals for the region, and could be a cover for agents in Turkey.
Ozekin told Al Jazeera many people believe that the churches are really fronts for intelligence agencies such as the CIA and Mossad, and that they are working to undermine Turkey rather than serving as shelters for Christians under seige.
Dezember 9, 2008 um 8:44 pm #31754AnonymInaktiv
I definetly protest racialists.
I hope they will listen to words of Orhan Picaklar instead of attacking him.
* * *
The LORD bless him and protect him
The LORD make his face to shine upon him,
and be gracious to him.
The LORD lift up his counteance upon him and give him peace.
Amen.Dezember 11, 2008 um 8:15 pm #31757AnonymInaktiv
well I think at the other hand,some people are interested in Christianity.They want to learn it,they want to know Christians closer but unfortunately some conditions are still not settled yet.
The party which has been on power and governs the country has forbiden the Mother Marry worship.
I think we are going to experience some difficulties until conditions are settled regularly just like 12 Apostles did.
Other big parties like CHP or MHP don’t have a different view on Christians from the party in power at all.
I joined a lot to CHP’s meetings in Beylikdüzü but believe me,they don’t think different from any other party.
so,from what I’ve seen,leftist parties must be engaged but first of all,we got to pray to our heavenly Father for help.Because you know,we are not capable to change hearts of people but the impossible things for us are always possible for God.
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