The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Annlouise, Taylor, Randy Danielson, TAFrazer, PNCC Random Guy
5,770 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 48 guests, and 33 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
by Santiago Tarsicio, March 17
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
by JLF, November 10
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Upgraded Russian icon corner
by The young fogey, October 20
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,056
Posts414,079
Members5,770
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,528
Grateful
Member
OP Offline
Grateful
Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,528
"Why Christians Feel under Threat in Turkey" This is an article that appeared in The Economist on 19 December 2007. Following is the text.

-- John



Quote

Why Christians feel under threat in today's Turkey

THIS has been a bad year for Orhan Ant. As a Protestant missionary in Samsun, on the Black Sea, he has had death threats and his church has been repeatedly stoned. Local newspapers called him a foreign agent. A group of youths tried to kidnap him as he was driving home. His pleas for police protection have gone unheeded.

Mr Ant is not alone. All over Turkey, Christians are under attack. In January Hrant Dink, an ethnic Armenian newspaper editor, was shot dead in Istanbul by a teenager who said he had “insulted Turkishness”. In April two Turks and a German, all evangelists, were murdered in Malatya. Their killers bound and tortured them before slitting their throats. In December an Italian Catholic priest was knifed by a teenager in Izmir. Another Italian priest was shot dead in Trabzon in 2006.

Many blame the attacks on a new ultra-nationalism, tinged with Islamic militancy, that has swept across Turkey. Unemployed teenagers in the Black Sea region seem especially prone to it. “The plight of Christians is critical,” says Husnu Ondul, president of the Ankara-based Turkish Human Rights Association. Like many others, he believes that the “deep state”, comprising a few judges, army officers and security officials who need enemies to justify their grip on power, is behind the attacks.

That may seem far-fetched. Yet evidence leaked to the media in the Dink and Malatya cases points to collusion between the perpetrators and rogue elements in the police and the army. It also suggests that the Istanbul police were tipped off about Mr Dink's murder a year before it was carried out. “So why did the Istanbul police do nothing to prevent it?” wonders Ergin Cinmen, a lawyer for the Dink family.

Respecting the religious freedom of non-Muslims is essential to Turkey's hopes of joining the European Union. Laws against Christians repairing their churches have been relaxed. Overriding objections from pious constituents, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party has just restored an ancient Armenian church in eastern Turkey. School textbooks are being purged of an anti-Western bias.

Yet many Christian grievances remain. The prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, resists calls to reopen the Greek Orthodox Halki seminary on Heybeli island off Istanbul, shut down in 1971. Turkey refuses to recognise the ecumenical title of the Greek Orthodox patriarch, Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of over 200m Orthodox Christians. The patriarch, a loyal Turkish citizen, has lobbied hard for Turkey's EU membership. But this has only reinforced suspicions among ultra-nationalist detractors, who accuse him of trying to “Christianise” Turkey and wanting a Vatican-style state in the heart of Istanbul.

Never mind that the Greek Orthodox church in Istanbul has dwindled to 4,000 souls, many of them too old to follow their children abroad. Nor that the patriarch must under Turkish law be a Turkish citizen, a rule which is making it difficult to find a successor to Bartholomew I. “They [ie, the Turks] apparently won't regard the conquest of Constantinople as complete until the patriarchate ceases to exist and all Christians have been frightened away,” suggests one restorer of icons in Istanbul.

The government has yet to approve a draft bill to help non-Muslims recover thousands of properties that have been confiscated by the state and either sold or left to decay. The Aya Yorgi church in Istanbul's Edirnekapi district, which was badly damaged in an earthquake, is one sad example. Its walls are cracked, its roof is leaking; a marble angel lies in pieces on the floor. “All we ask is to be permitted to rescue our church, but we cannot hammer a single nail,” complains Bishop Dionysios, a Greek Orthodox prelate who still conducts services there.

Many Christians concede that AK has treated them better than its secular predecessors did. They blame the deep state for their recent troubles. But the excuse of the deep state's power is wearing thin after AK's big victory in July's general election. “With such a strong mandate, the government's failure to meet our demands can only mean one thing, that the deep state is still in charge,” says a Christian priest. Or perhaps that AK believes in religious freedom for Muslims, but not Christians.





Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,564
It's not complicated: Christians feel under threat in Turkey because Christians are under threat in Turkey.

Fr. Serge

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 528
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 528
Could be the stabbings, the plot to kill the Patriarch, the intimidation, the strange rules on clerical staff and the the EP himself, the tearing down of monasteries, the refusal to allow building new churches or reopening of old ones, etc. etc.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,930
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 10,930
Originally Posted by Byzantine TX
Could be the stabbings, the plot to kill the Patriarch, the intimidation, the strange rules on clerical staff and the the EP himself, the tearing down of monasteries, the refusal to allow building new churches or reopening of old ones, etc. etc.


Is that all? gessh, that is a plate full for sure. Thank you Lord for this land that we live in. May we never forget that you are Lord of Lords and King of Kings, to you be all the glory and honor for the blessings that we receive.

Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen.

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 87
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 87
Sounds like the Church there is set for some explosive growth, if there are missionaries to take up the call.


Moderated by  Father Anthony 

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5