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Italian Catholic Priest Stabbed in Western Turkey
VOA News
16 December 2007

[Linked Image]
Father Adriano Franchini


A Catholic priest has been stabbed at a church in western Turkey, in the latest attack on a Christian in the predominantly Muslim country.

Turkish police say Italian priest Adriano Franchini was stabbed in the stomach Sunday after leaving a church service in the city of Izmir. They say he was taken to a hospital but his wounds were not life-threatening.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency says police detained a 19-year-old man on suspicion of attacking the priest. The motive for the stabbing was not immediately known.

Anatolia says the suspected assailant had traveled to Izmir from a town in the north, Balikesir, claiming to be interested in Christianity.

It says Franchini had invited the man to observe mass at the church and spoke with him about converting to Christianity.

There have been a series of attacks on Christians in Turkey in recent years. In one of the deadlest incidents, three Protestants were killed at the office of a Christian publishing house in the eastern city of Malatya in April.

The European Union has long complained that Turkey, an EU applicant, is not fully protecting the religious freedoms of its Christian minority, which makes up less than one percent of the population.

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At the time of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Christians were about 1/3 of the population of what is now Turkey - where the Christians are now less than one percent of the population. Did someone say "ethnic cleansing"?

Fr. Serge

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ethnic cleansing or genocide ... ?

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There's a difference?

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This is alarming and sad, most epecially in light of the fact that if Europeans started knifing Muslims simply for being Muslim there would be such an outcry we'd never hear the end of it.
Forgive me my confused ramblings, many thoughts are going through my head at the same time and I'm just thinking aloud here.
I don't suggest taking up arms against Muslims, but are Christians too docile? Should those of us outside these countries be doing more to help our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in Muslim countries?

Then again,and this is what I'm trying to work out, Christ counselled turning the other cheek and forgiving our enemies. When Pope John Paul II was attacked by a Muslim, he did just that. Could it be that that is what we need to do in earnest?
Somehow, it seems to me that we're (Christians generally, not y'all personally) upset and disturbed, but not doing anything about the situation.

I don't know what to suggest; any ideas?

Peace,
Indigo

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Originally Posted by indigo
This is alarming and sad, most epecially in light of the fact that if Europeans started knifing Muslims simply for being Muslim there would be such an outcry we'd never hear the end of it.
Forgive me my confused ramblings, many thoughts are going through my head at the same time and I'm just thinking aloud here.
I don't suggest taking up arms against Muslims, but are Christians too docile? Should those of us outside these countries be doing more to help our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in Muslim countries?

Then again,and this is what I'm trying to work out, Christ counselled turning the other cheek and forgiving our enemies. When Pope John Paul II was attacked by a Muslim, he did just that. Could it be that that is what we need to do in earnest?
Somehow, it seems to me that we're (Christians generally, not y'all personally) upset and disturbed, but not doing anything about the situation.

I don't know what to suggest; any ideas?

Peace,
Indigo


Dear Indigo,

Excellent thoughts--they have crossed my mind too.

Regards,
Alice

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Originally Posted By: indigo
This is alarming and sad, most epecially in light of the fact that if Europeans started knifing Muslims simply for being Muslim there would be such an outcry we'd never hear the end of it.
Forgive me my confused ramblings, many thoughts are going through my head at the same time and I'm just thinking aloud here.
I don't suggest taking up arms against Muslims, but are Christians too docile? Should those of us outside these countries be doing more to help our persecuted Christian brothers and sisters in Muslim countries?

Then again,and this is what I'm trying to work out, Christ counselled turning the other cheek and forgiving our enemies. When Pope John Paul II was attacked by a Muslim, he did just that. Could it be that that is what we need to do in earnest?
Somehow, it seems to me that we're (Christians generally, not y'all personally) upset and disturbed, but not doing anything about the situation.

I don't know what to suggest; any ideas?

Peace,
Indigo


Dear Indigo,

Excellent thoughts--they have crossed my mind too.

Regards,
Alice


INDIGO and ALICE:

I've heard it suggested that once we turn the other cheek we're not to remain whipped or passive, but we have a Christian duty to defend ourselves and those of our family. And family is every person Baptised into the Trinity with us.

That said, it seems to me we need to make our government put pressure on the Turks to stop this behavior. We seem to think that having them as allies makes it necessary to overlook all that they do inside their own borders--in the same way we overlook the atrocities of the Saudis. I say that to claim the moral high ground we need to be consistent in our advocacy for the minority person or persons in the world, whether it be in Darfur, the Balkans, Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or wherever. And it's high time we begin by demanding that Christians be respected, whether we be in the West or wherever else we find ourselves in the world. We need to keep in mind that in Christ there is neither slave or free, male or female, Jew or Greek or Russian or Ukrainian or Ruthenian or German or Swede or Irish or Scot or black or Chaldean or Egyptian or . . . The baptised are all brothers in Christ and we need to continue to pray HARD for each other and advocate HARD for each other.

In Christ,

BOB

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I read in a recent article how Al Qaida is angry (afraid?) because of Pope Benedict's talks/conversations/overtures to Muslims. It was noted that many Muslims were angered by his speech last year where he quoted a reference to Islam espousing war and terror.

Yet in the same article a Muslim scholar was quoted who casually stated that Christians are polytheists, an age long accusation of Islam against Christianity.

Yet I don't see any Christians threatening to kill Muslims because of this statement. Indeed, it appears that our enemies in the faith be they Muslim, Hindu, or whatever, can say whatever they please and we do not raise a finger. But if we so much as have a slip of the tongue our Pontiff receives death threats and Christianity is attacked by the media as intolerant.

I certainly don't advocate spilling blood but there is something to be said for well informed and well learned zealousness.

Jesus told us not to hide our light under a bush...rather proclaim it from the housetops. It seems we are doing neither in the name of conciliation.

Jason

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Jason, I hear you. Bob makes an excellent point that could be helpful; pray for our enemies, pray for our brothers and sisters,provide comfort like Carson's church did for Iraqi Christians (Much respect to Carson and his parish for that), and as Bob says advocate HARD for our brothers and sisters. I guess advocating could include letters and phone calls to congressmen, Amnesty International and maybe the UN? Any other folks and places? Oh, I'd think letters of support to the Vatican and Orthodox Patriarchs affected by these atrocities. Even a message to Father Franchini would provide moral support.

Peace,
Indigo


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