"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

Pray For…Turkey

Pray For…Turkey

•Population – 74,565,000
•Percentage of Evangelicals – 0.0%
•Total Number of People Groups – 61
•Number of Unreached People Groups – 39
•Language Spoken – Turkish
•Major Religion – Islam
•Human Development Rank – 79

The Turkish Ottoman Empire once stretched across North Africa, Arabia, Western Asia and Southeast Europe. World War I was the final demise of the Empire and the beginning of the new modern Turkey. The official formation of the republic was established in 1923 by Ataturk, the famous “Father of the Turks”. Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. Periods of social disorder and military rule led to instability in the government of Turkey. In 1983 a democratic government returned and was important, however the military still had considerable influence. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups. Popularly dubbed a “post-modern coup”, the then Islamic-oriented government was ousted in 1997 by the military. Turkey is strategically important in the world because of its location as the bridge between Europe and Central Asia. The unique situation positions Turkey as a potentially excellent diplomatic mediator among various powers. In 2005, Turkey began accession talks with Europe. As the long standing guardian of Islam, Turkey is now caught in a tension of reform. Turkey is officially a secular state, no longer governed by Islam. However, the line between Islam and secularism is fine and constitutional religious freedom is not fully upheld. Recent deaths, arrests and threats to Christians highlight the reality of severe persecution that exists in this country. There appears to be no sign that Turkey will embrace true religious freedom. In August 2007, Turkey took a step back toward a religiously controlled state when they elected as president a former proponent of political Islam. Christians do not enjoy freedom of religion, in fact politicians, military and police are mostly hostile towards anything Christian. The government gives false information about Christianity, swaying public opinion to fear and resist Christianity. Unfortunately the public is easily influenced. Although small, the Church is growing and the Gospel is being spread amongst harsh opposition.

•Turkish Christians face harsh persecution. Pray for protection and for boldness, pray against a spirit of fear. Greater growth will inevitably lead to greater opposition; pray that such opposition in turn leads to greater growth.

•Many believers escape persecution by moving to new countries and emigrating to other parts of the world. Pray for local believers to persist in following Jesus, whatever the cost.

•The legal standing of Christians, both as a whole and as individual congregations is in jeopardy. Promises of laws restricting Islamic-rule have been obstructed. Pray for the government to give freedom to all. Pray for legality to meet as Church congregations. Pray for the requirements to gather together will be lifted and the Church will be able to join together is peace.

•Evangelical Christianity is slowly but surely growing in Turkey. The number has risen from 10 in 1960 to around 4,000 in 2010. Growth is not as rapid as many had hoped but it is an important marker of Church growth. Pray for the Church to continue to grow. Pray for more people to know Christ and for discipleship to cause growth in the Church. Pray for the spread of the Gospel through the existing believers in Turkey.