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Middle East

Catholic priest stabbed in Turkey

Youth watches 'hate TV,' then acts out against church leader.

More violence against Christian leaders in the Middle East.

In recent days, Turkey has been in the news with fresh military action against Kurdish rebels along Turkey's southern border.

But Compass Direct news services also calls important attention to this attack on a Catholic priest:

ISTANBUL, December 17 (Compass Direct News) ? A 19-year-old Muslim youth stabbed an Italian priest in the stomach yesterday after Sunday services outside a Catholic church in Turkey. Father Adriano Franchini, 65, was hospitalized overnight in the Aegean city of Izmir, and hospital authorities expected to discharge him today, the Anatolia News Agency reported. According to the daily Hurriyet newspaper, the arrested assailant admitted in his statement to the police that he had been influenced by a recent episode of the popular television serial drama "Kurtlar Vadisi" (Valley of the Wolves). The series caricatures Christian missionaries as political "infiltrators" who pay poor families to convert to Christianity. The attack comes amid a growing climate of violence against Turkey's Christian minority population.

Click here for the full article.

Turkey's ultranationalists are determined to gain the upper hand in Turkey's civil society. Their agenda includes further suppression of Christianity.

CT's January 2008 cover story focuses on: Jesus in Turkey, A Bloodied Church is Reborn. That article will be posted online soon.

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