Jesus in Turkey
Pastor Guvener in Diyarbakir lives not too far away from Malatya, the site of the killing. He and his church's leaders were meeting to discuss the day's business. They had just finished discussing fixing a clogged toilet when their cell phones went off. Hearing the news, several leaders flashed back to an incident three years ago when a deranged man, brandishing a knife, ran into their church.
The pastors remembered how one of the Malatya martyrs, Necati Aydin, had recently portrayed Jesus in a passion play. Later, at the memorial service at Ucal's church in Istanbul, everyone wore a small picture of Aydin. The late pastor's son sang, "Jesus Loves the Little Children."
Necati's smile keeps coming to mind. Guvener said, "You should remember that God has wiped away the tears." Ucal says Jesus is walking with the Turks. "We love without fear. Something protects this country. Turkey will keep its balance."
Tony Carnes, a CT senior writer, is based in New York City.
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Accidental Outreach | Christian leaders avoid targeting Kurds, but reach them anyway. (January 3, 2008)
A Victorious Family | A murdered pastor's family rebuilds its life. (January 4, 2008)
Justice Delayed | Security worries stall recognition of Armenian genocide. (January 4, 2008)
Inside CT: Greatness Is in Heaven (January 4, 2008)
Articles on the Malatya killings last April include:
Milking Martyrdom | Turkish Mission accused of sending false report. (September 14, 2007)
Faith Perfected | Recent martyrdoms sadden us but cannot make us despair. A Christianity Today editorial (July 12, 2007)
Young Muslims in Turkey Murder Three Christians | Deaths mark first known martyrdom of Turkish converts since founding of republic. (April 20, 2007)
From CT Liveblog: On Trial in Turkey | Malatya murder trial defense finds footing by playing to anti-missionary sentiments. Also: the roots of anti-Christian violence in Turkey. (November 30, 2007)