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For the first time in 550 years, Christianity inside Turkey is growing in numbers and influence. But its recent growth comes at a high price: since February 2006, radicalized Muslims have killed five Christians—the kind of cold-blooded martyrdom ...

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David Sseppuuya

January 17, 2008  5:21am

I have travelled to Turkey twice from East Africa in the last five years, including last June, and I do fully appreciate the challenge of believers in that country in comparison to my part of the world. Testimonies like these ones give hope that the church will one day flourish again in the cradle of Christianity.

Sarah

January 16, 2008  1:05pm

This article was a wonderful reminder to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28:19) and of how there is NO GREATER LOVE than to freely give up your life for another (Jn 15:13). The analogy of Christian martyrs to Christ, Who gave His life to save ours, reminded me that I need to share the news of this love that allows a sinner like me to share in eternal life with Jesus Christ, God the Father, and His Holy Spirit, glorious and mysterious 'Trinity'! Praise the LORD!

ZT

January 10, 2008  3:53pm

I'm a Turkish Christian living in Turkey. Its not easy for any article to give the whole picture, this is a fair start but interviewing a wider range of people wld have been more effective. Also the murderers were nationalist extremists NOT Islamic radicals. GKC, welcome to the church, worldwide! Sure we have problems & need to mature, the issue is overcoming not avoidance (the latter will never be until Christ returns!). The church in Turkey is quite unique in that leaders from all church types across the nation come together 3-4 times a year to share and be united! We know its relationships that will get us through, not doctrines! GKC, you talk of grace but pour out judgement as if the brutal murder of these 3 gentle guys was discipline for us!! Most Turkish Christians have been believers for under 10 years, does your God rush to punish babes in Christ!? Can you pls have the grace to give us time to be renewed? Boy am I glad I look to God to discipline me and not to the 'religious'!

Fr Robert

January 10, 2008  10:19am

A pretty good article about recent Protestantism in Turkey, as far as it goes. By missing/ignoring the recent history of the persecution of the Orthodox Church in Turkey (and the Ecumenical Patriarchate) you miss the real scope of the glory of the history of Christianity in this land - including the tens of thousands of Orthodox Christian martyrs whose blood has already been spilled in the proclamation of the Gospel. The Church established by Christ there continues in the persecuted Orthodox Church. As other western groups establish other communities which are bible based there, in time, they will also know the wrath of Islamic rule.

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Ali Demir

January 10, 2008  5:26am

I don't want to say that, but I must do: this column is a political comment, for example: "since February 2006, radicalized Muslims have killed five Christians." they're Christian and so they killed... is it correct? no!.. unfortunately, wrong logic... for example: suffocations & ice-cream sales go up in summer, but there isn't relation between suffocation & ice-cream sales. "For the first time in 550 years" is an introduction of a conquest sentence. the logic of revenge won't serve Christ [or your purpose]. Abide in Christ... It's just enough...

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Gabe

January 09, 2008  5:33pm

Amazing!

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GKC

January 09, 2008  10:21am

The article fails to mentions the rift/gap between the leaders mentioned in the article. There are theological issues, personal issues; financial irregularities on certain mission groups; driven missionaries focusing too much evangelism rather than personal growth of Turkish Believers; Bible Translation issues;lack of spiritual, emotional health among Turkish Christian leaders; codependent leaders, etc. The issues always exist but it's hard to find HUMILITY, SPIRITUAL MATURITY which goes with EMOTIONAL MATURITY. The article doesn't deal with the other, dark side of Turkish Believers. Let's keep Holiness and Love together as Francis Schaeffer said and Truth and Grace for the sake of Him.

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Joby

January 07, 2008  2:02am

The article is very inspiring especially for people like me who live in a non-christian country. I understand how hard it is to live in a place where you are the minority. The only help you get is from God and from the people of the same faith. I pray to God that He help the people of the church and also of Turkey. God bless.

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GKC

January 06, 2008  8:49pm

As a Turkish Christian I attest that the article is true in providing correct information. As much as we could/should rejoice in the fact that number of Turkish Christians are increasing in Turkey; we should also consider-not forget- killings of our brothers as God's disciplining His childrens in Turkey, the ones who are left behind. God cares not about the numbers of Christians in Turkey ultimately, but His holiness and His children's faithfulness to Him. Heb. 12:5-6,10: My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives... For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. T.Christians should see these events a cal to holiness for Him and evaluate their walk with Christ. I hope Turkish Christians and missionaries in Turkey would not seek to plant churches in CEO exec models.

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mike ross

January 04, 2008  9:09pm

It would not be proper to compare today's protestant sectarian 'christianity' with the people of Faith who lived out their lives of prayer an Cappodocia. They were members of the one , holy, catholic and apostolic Church, the one that was founded on Pentacost. They were not part of the american mindset of individual, self actualized faith, but were one in the proper worship of the Lord God. Be careful to put your attitude in proper context with the historicity of events. Sincerely, Mike Ross

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gagik from spain

January 04, 2008  1:30pm

los valores morales vienen de cristianismo.los turkos tienen mucho de hacer para lavar sus manos de sangre(genocidio armenio,griegs,asirians,kurdos........).pedir perdon al jesus.a las naciones sufridas.

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Luke Dean

January 04, 2008  10:45am

The Father is at work in this country, and this article is most definitely a confirmation of that beautiful work despite the opposition that seeks to destroy it. As followers of Christ, we must be involved in doing His work in Turkey which is supporting the national believers through prayer and finances(if possible) or leaving the comforts of our country to live amongst the Turkish people so that we can win them to Christ Jesus!

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A.Miller

January 04, 2008  8:34am

I am a Christian living in Turkey for several years, am married to a Turkish Christian, and am a member of a Turkish Church. Thank you, CT, for your hard work in assembling the facts; rarely have I seen an article that so accurately and intimately exposes some of the harsh realities of native Christians here. Please continue to use your resources to raise awareness for the sake of our Turkish brothers and sisters: may the global church continue to pray fervently for spiritual awakening in Turkey.

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Timur

January 04, 2008  4:59am

I am grateful for this article. It has simply been wonderful to see how the Holy Spirit works and draws people to Jesus. It is wonderful to see people live for and love Jesus, in the middle of difficulties and persecution. May Jesus grant strength, joy, love and perseverance to the saints in Turkey. May Jesus be honored. "As for the saints who are in the land...[Oh!] they are the excellent ones in whom is all my delight!" Psalm 16:2

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Bahadir, Ankara

January 04, 2008  1:34am

I am a Christian Turk and I want to commend the accuracy of this article. The spiritual atmosphere here and the situation of the tiny Turkish Church is reflected very clearly. Please pray for these godly leaders mentioned in the article, and many more all around the country, because they are leading God's people in Asia Minor through some tough times.

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Yilmaz Kaya

January 04, 2008  1:26am

As a Christian originally from Turkey I am glad to see an article on Turkey. The country has a rich heritage of Christianity and God is waking people up to Himself. As it happened in China after the revolution I think the locals need to be encouraged and trained to serve their own people. They know the culture and the language. Most Turkish media is anti-Christian and Turkey needs prayers for change. God did and will change lives over there. It's hard to preach to Moslems but thankfully the new media can do it.

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undisclosed

January 03, 2008  7:53pm

Unlike Warrington's comment, this article does tell the reader a good deal more than the names of dead Christians- it offers a glimpse into what is currently occurring in Turkey, Turkish culture, and the means and methods of introducing Turks to Christ. What I found most interesting was to read about the Turkish pastors' emphasis on creating and growing genuine fellowship and family among the Turkish Christians in an effort both to win non-Christians and to encourage edification among believers (which is due to Turkish cultural values). Having the privilege of seeing some of the work in Turkey first hand, I think I can safely say that, while this article is a very, very brief introduction to Turkey's complexities, it is an interesting and worthwhile one.

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A. S. Matehw

January 03, 2008  7:33pm

Since Jesus is alive, His body; the Church is alive. It may be persecuted, but nobody can destroy the Church. In Africa and Asia, 6 million Muslims are coming to Christian faith every year. The persecuted Church of China with 5 million believers in 1948 is now 110 million believers. In India, those areas where no Christian was found thirty years back have several Christian Churches. Where there is more persecution, the growth of Christianity will be greater. I am from India living in the U.S.A, but every time when I visit there, I was amazed by the growth of Christian believers there. My friend started a work in Delhi 8 years back with $ 35.00 in their pocket (husband/wife) and there are over a dozen Churches with more than 4000 believers and now the growth is in high speed. We need to stand and pray with the believers around the world and we are going to witness the greatest revival of human history very shortly. PRAISE THE LORD, BECAUSE HE IS LIVING TODAY.

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Caesar Warrington

January 03, 2008  4:56pm

In a country that is 98% Muslim, to consider Christianity--or any other religion to be "increasing in numbers and influence" is truly wishful thinking at best and at worst, simply pathetic. If anything is "increasing in numbers and influence," it is radical Islam. The only thing I've taken from this article sre the names of the Christian people who have been murdered in so-called "secular" Turkey. Grow up.

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Christoph Koebel

January 03, 2008  3:55pm

I spent last May 2 weeks In Istanbul on a Christian outreach. As you say you can get a FIRST IMPRESSION of a new country only once. My impression was awesome. The people who suppose to meet me were not there. I stood at the airport somewhat confused. No Turkish money, almost no turkish knowledge and no phonenumber. Then something happened. A Turkish Muslim invited me for coffee and cheesecake. There and then I experienced turkish hospitalityand a lesson we in the west have watches but these folks in the east have time lots of time. As I left Turkey I saw firsthand that God builds His Church in Turkey. Folks please pray for outreach which happenes over the next 3 weeks in Istanbul.

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