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Haziran 24, 2007: 9:42 pm #24315klausAnahtar yönetici
Christianity in Turkey
Since up to ninety-eight percent of the population are Muslims, Christians are obviously a minority religion in Turkey. Because it is a secular country – the only Muslim country in the world, in fact, that has no state religion – and the Constitution guarantees religious freedom, tolerance is the rule. The population thus includes members of the Armenian Apostolic and Greek Orthodox churches, Roman and Eastern Catholics, and Jews.
Dispute continues, however, over what part Islam should have in Turkish life. It is one of the most controversial issues in Turkey today, and may at some point alter whether Turkish society is organized on a secular or religious basis.
After the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, many of the early Christians, escaping from persecutions in Jerusalem, came to Asia Minor and settled in different cities like Ephesus, Hierapolis and Cappadocia. St. Paul preached in Perge, Derbe, Lystra, Psidian Antioch, Ephesus (see Letter to Ephesians) and Konya. St. John stayed for a while in Ephesus together with Virgin Mary and, after he returned from Patmos where he was exiled, died in Ephesus. St. Peter settled in Antioch and build the first Christian church carved in a cave. St. Philip settled in Hierapolis but was killed together his family by the Romans.
Christianity was declared as the official religion in 380, during the reign of Theodosius I, and destruction of pagan temples was legalized. Even so, throughout the Byzantine era Christianity had great ups and downs in popularity. Many found the road to piety confusing and assorted schisms between the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Byzantine church certainly didn’t simplify matters. Add this inter-faith bickering to the “Dhimmi” tax (50 percent of earnings for non-Muslims as opposed to the tithing for Muslim believers) for those living on Ottoman-held lands, no wonder large numbers of peasants converted their faith to Islam. Islam was also a relatively simple path to follow – profess belief in One God and the mission of his Prophed Muhammed and follow the Five Pillars of Faith.
Gradually, Christianity in Turkey disintegrated, so that when the Islamic Ottomans finally conquered the Byzantine Empire, it was inevitable that what had been a predominantly Christian region would be no more. Another important fact for Christians is that first Ecumenical Councils were made at Nicea (Iznik today) in the Marmara Region of Turkey, between Bursa and Istanbul.Temmuz 1, 2008: 10:58 pm #28108AnonimPasif
Thanks for you comment, on the Turkish Christian history. I found it really interesting and also taught me a lot I didn’t know before.
However going to the things you first wrote in the topic, I am not entirely convinced about. Turkey is a vast and extremely diversed country. Şamanizim (Main Turkish religion before Islam), Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other minority religions are all practised in Turkey and of course the Atheists. As you said, they all have a right and freedom to practise their religion as they wish too, Turkey is a secular state and your completely right about Turkey being the only secular Muslim country.
But, what I do disagree on is 98% of Turkey’s population being Muslim (whether practising or not). I think that the figure is less even though it is written as 98%.
Does anybody know the population of the Turkish Christians in Turkey?Temmuz 2, 2008: 6:37 pm #29597
Yes, Christianitiy has been a minority religion in Turkey; but who knows what future holds? When the strongholds of the enemy are destroyed and people are saved as in the days of the Apostels, the Church of God in Turkey will be re-established waiting upon the Second Coming of the Lord.
The number of the evangelical Christians in Turkey number upto 3000 or little more. Enough potantial to shake the world.. hamdolsunTemmuz 2, 2008: 10:21 pm #29605AnonimPasif
Thanks very interesting, but also very upsetting. Because out of a population of over 80 million, only 3,000 Christians? It doesn’t make sense. Eastern Turkey even though upsettingly still Kurdish occupied and more to the Islamic side hosts a number of Christian Turks.
I thought the figure would be at least 10,000 even more.Temmuz 2, 2008: 11:15 pm #29606
Yes, only 3000 Bible believing Evangelical Christians. Other than that you have ca. 50.000 Assyrian, Armenian, Greek and other small Orthodox minority population in Turkey.Temmuz 5, 2008: 12:04 am #29630AnonimPasif
Very interesting, thank you. I thought the figure would be 50,000 altogether with the other minorities too.
What about the Turkish Christian population world wide?
Where in Turkey are you from?Temmuz 16, 2008: 5:20 pm #29744
There has been a constant assimilation by the state towards the Christian minorities in Turkey over the decades. Many non-muslim minorities leave Turkey and go to Western Europe and North America in order to preserve their existence. For example, the Assyrians (Süryaniler) of South East Turkey, had at the end of the 70ies a population of over 80.000, which today numbers only ca. 15.000.
But how about the converted Christians, who were by birth genuine Turks and muslims? Now that they chose to follow Jesus, they are no less Turks than the rest of the Muslim Turks. Will they too have to leave Turkey in order to live as humans? No.. We Turkish Christians have our mother land Turkey only.. and we love it there- ONE thing we want: Religious Freedom, Respect and a full execution of the Constitution.
You see.. Turkey is where the first believers were called Christians.. Paul comes from Tarsus in Turkey. Mary died and was buried in Ephesus in Turkey. I pray that the mesage of the Gospel will be proclaimed freely in Turkey and millions of people regardles ther religious identity will decide to follow Jesus. AmenTemmuz 21, 2008: 7:34 pm #29759AnonimPasif
I agree with what the brother Evangelist say, that there is a constant assimilation by the state towards the Christian minorities in Turkey over the decades. Not only towards the minorities, but also towards the majority members who disagree with the state doctrine on any matter. I pray that Lord will grant true justice to anyone who needs it in Turkey.Ağustos 26, 2008: 6:48 pm #30393AnonimPasif
well,I don’t think that these figures are results of a deep-detailed research because I believe cordialy that the rate of Muslims are much lesser than mentioned above.
Who did ask you what to type to your I.D card when you were born?Let me answer it…No one
My maternal aunt’s husband is atheist and whole of his family is atheist but Islam has been written on their I.D cards.
there are a lot of people like this on my environment so they are not exception at all.
Most of my friends,approximately 75 percentage of my friends don’t even care about the religion.
Anyways,if we have a look at the situation of Christianity,that is another part of the subject because I believe that there are a lot of Christians whose I.D cards are written Muslim.That might be cause of their fear from their environment,friends,families etc…
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