Guest / Limited Access /

A Protestant pastor in the Turkish industrial city of Izmit woke up one morning last month to find a huge red swastika painted on his apartment door, with a handwritten hate letter shoved underneath.

The writer threatened the safety of Wolfgang Hade and his family unless they left the country within a month. A German citizen, Hade is married to a Turkish national of Christian background. The letter questioned whether Hade was really serving Christianity or being "used" to attack Turkish values.

"Your efforts to wear us down—as the inheritors of a great race—and alienate us from our values will come to nothing," the writer declared. "Please forward this to the headquarters directing you."

Together with his wife and small daughter, Hade has lived for the past three and one-half years in Izmit, near the epicenter of western Turkey's disastrous 1999 earthquake. Their small congregation of 15 to 20 Turkish Protestants worship in a two-story building purchased through the foundation of their parent church in Istanbul.

The Izmit Protestant Church was targeted in a violent attack the night after Christmas last year, when someone started a fire next to the outside wall of the building.

"The aim was to burn the church down," Hade told Compass Direct. "There were black signs of burning and the window was partly broken, but the debris had been swept away." On three separate occasions since, church windows have been broken out.

Local police investigated all of these attacks, and the church installed iron burglar-bars to prevent damage to ground-floor windows. But after a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the upper floor on February 6, church leaders made an appointment with the local governor's assistant.

"We sent a petition to the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedEbola and the Glory of God: An Interview with Nancy Writebol's Family (including Nancy's Comments)
Ebola and the Glory of God: An Interview with Nancy Writebol's Family (including Nancy's Comments)
Nancy Writebol has been released from the hospital. I interviewed her family about how they've dealt with the situation.
TrendingMark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
Mark Driscoll Steps Down While Mars Hill Investigates Charges
(UPDATED) Driscoll offers 8-step solution to followers: 'Current climate is not healthy for me or for this church.'
Editor's PickWhere Are the Female Christian Rappers?
Where Are the Female Christian Rappers?
As more women top the charts, their Christian counterparts struggle to break through.
Comments
Christianity Today
Turkey's Protestants Face Wave of Attacks
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

June 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.