Middle East

Turkish Police Foil Assassination of Christian Pastor

Two of 14 suspects arrested ‘were like family’ in the church, pastor says.

(WWM) ISTANBUL - Police in Turkey say they thwarted an assassination plot against a Christian pastor Tuesday when they arrested 14 suspects, two of whom had been part of his congregation for more than a year.

Emre Karaali, pastor of Izmit Protestant Church and the target of the alleged plot, said two of the arrested suspects were regular members, feigning interest in Christianity. One of them, he said, participated in a baptism in July.

"These people had infiltrated our church and collected information about me, my family and the church and were preparing an attack against us," said Karaali, 33, a native Turk and a convert to Christianity. "Two of them attended our church for over a year and they were like family."

The Istanbul Protestant Church Foundation, of which the Izmit church is a member, denounced the alleged assassination plot in a press statement Thursday. "These types of assassination attempts are a black stain that some want to spread on Turkey making it a spectacle to the world," ...

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