Turkish Church Says Thank You To Spanish Christians

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    070522Nspain.jpg espacio.gifTurkish Church says thank you to Spanish Christians

    ISTANBUL, May 22, 2007 (TEA/ACPress.net)
    Zekai Tanyar, representing the Turkish Evangelical Alliance, has written to his opposite number in Spain to thank Spanish evangelicals for their support in the wake of the terrible murder of three evangelical Christians in Malatya on April 18th.

    His thanks goes to the Spanish Evangelical Church in general, having been told of the many vigils which were held up and down Spain, including close to the Turkish Embassy in Madrid. He added that he said thank you on behalf of all the believers in Turkey.

    Tanyar said no system, political, cultural or religious, can do what the Holy Spirit does across all borders. No frontier is closed to God. He added that while the evangelical community in Turkey was still shocked by what had happened, we find hope in Jesus.” He recognises that this is what many other Christians in different parts of the world suffer frequently; “we should also pray for them, and speak up for them.”

    A month has passed since the murders and the Turkish Church has been in reflective mood. Precautionary measures have been taken by local churches, as there have been attempts to set light to some, physical aggression, windows broken and so forth. However, the churches – as well as keeping in close contact with the authorities – “have seen the faith of many Christians revived despite being conscious that a new and difficult chapter has opened for Christianity in Turkey.” So says Carlos Madrigal, a Spanish missionary and evangelical pastor in Istanbul.

    As for the Turkish media, Madrigal says that “for the first time in the 22 years (I have been in Turkey), condemnation has been total. What´s more, many have condemned the campaign of the last ten years which said that missionaries were a threat to the country. This is very positive soul-searching. Turkish society is scandalised by what their own Turkish brothers have done to Christians.”

    The testimony of the martyrs´ widows has been amazing. “Their resolve has had a tremendous impact, their clarity in professing Christ, in carrying on. They see what happened as something God has allowed, and will use for good. The reaction of other believers has been to commit themselves more to the Lord, very conscious of the fact that the Lord in His goodness is in control of everything. The testimony of Susan Gaske in forgiving the murderers and visiting them in prison was very powerful.”

    Madrigal also said that Turkish Christians have been greatly encouraged by the support given them by the Spanish Church. He said that Spain was one of the countries which had done most to help them. Diaconía, an evangelical aid agency based in Madrid, sent gifts for the victims´ families. Their financial situation is not easy, and there is also the need for increased security at church buildings and for the believers themselves.

    Many evangelical organisations, including the European Evangelical Alliance, have mobilised to call for religious liberty in Turkey, and to help the beleagured Christian community there.

    Source: TEA Editing: ACPress.net

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