|Pray for religious freedom|
Discrimination, slander and attacks against churches were among the examples of ongoing harassment that the Turkish Association of Protestant Churches (TEK) recorded in 2010, reported Compass Direct News.
In an eight-page report published earlier this year, TEK’s Committee for Religious Freedom and Legal Affairs outlined problems Protestants face. Turkish laws and “negative attitudes of civil servants” continue to make it nearly impossible for non-Muslims to establish places of worship. Missionary activities are still considered a national threat despite the existence of Turkish laws guaranteeing citizens the freedom to propagate and teach their faith.
Children, too, are victims of discrimination at school. While non-Muslim students are permitted to stay out of religious classes, parents have reported cases in which they were not able to take their children out of such courses.
Turkey rose to 30th place in Open Doors’ 2011 World Watch List of nations in which persecution against Christians takes place, up from 35th place the previous year. The Christian support organization cited deteriorating conditions as the secular country applied some laws in discriminatory ways against Christians.
Back in 2007, two Turkish Christians and a German Christian were bound, tortured and then murdered at the office of Zirve Publishing Co., a Christian publishing house in Malatya. The four suspects were arrested while trying to escape the scene of the crime, as was the alleged ringleader.
The trial of the five suspects has been prolonged and could be furthered stalled with the loss of Judge Eray Gurtekin, who presided over the case since it began on November 22, 2007, to a Supreme Court of Appeals post in Ankara. The court has been examining links between the killers and alleged masterminds.