Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Turkey named as one of world’s worst rel...

Email:

Turkey named as one of world’s worst religious freedom violators

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Turkey named as one of world’s worst religious freedom violators

Country/Region: Turkey

Turkey has been named as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom, along with countries such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

It was listed in the US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) 2012 annual report as a “country of particular concern” (CPC) for “systematic and egregious limitations” of religious freedom. Other nations recommended to the Secretary of State for CPC designation were Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Yeni-Camii-Istanbul_4X3.jpg
Turkey is overwhelmingly Muslim
CC BY-NC 2.0 / Vince Millett

The treatment of its Christian minority, as well as of other non-Muslim religious groups, put Turkey on the list. The USCIRF’s report said that restrictions on non-Muslim communities, such as limiting their right to train clergy and own places of worship, “have led to their decline, and in some cases, their virtual disappearance”.

It quoted the Association of Protestant Churches’ Committee for Religious Freedom and Legal Affairs in İzmir, which in early 2012 reported an increased number of attacks, ranging from harassment and vandalism to death threats, against Protestant churches and individuals in 2011 compared to 2010.

The report also covered conditions in northern Cyprus, which is under Turkish control. Approximately 500 monasteries, churches, and cemeteries there have been purposely desecrated or are in ruins due to Turkish and Turkish Cypriot authorities’ negligence, or are being used for non-religious purposes such as storage or community halls.

Turkey, which was on the USCIRF’s Watch List from 2009 to 2011, is bidding to become a full member of the European Union; its recommendation as a CPC will surely not advance this agenda. 

Regarding Egypt, the USCIRF said that the transitional government has failed to protect religious minorities, especially Christians, from violent attacks.

And it said that in Iran, Christians, Baha’is and Sufi Muslims have been subjected to intensified attacks, harassment, detention, and imprisonment.

Ones to watch

The USCIRF’s “Watch List” denotes countries that, while not severe enough to be recommended as CPCs, require close monitoring because of religious freedom violations that their governments have engaged in or tolerated. On the 2012 list are Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, and Venezuela.

The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) requires that the United States designate annually as CPCs countries whose governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of religious freedom. The USCIRF is a federal government commission that monitors religious freedom throughout the world and makes recommendations to the Secretary of State.  

Its future was seriously threatened last year when its reauthorisation was held up in the Senate. But just three days before the commission would have been forced to close, the Senate passed legislation allowing it to continue. The USCIRF has to operate, however, with an annual budget reduced from US$4m to US$3m and the number of commissioners reduced from nine to five.

Its 2012 report, which covers the period between 1 April 2011 and 29 February 2012, was produced early this year before the new restrictions come into force.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Turkey named as one of world’s worst religious freedom violators

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Pray for the friends and family of Beatrice Mukashaka, an 18-year-old Christian woman, who was hacked to death in a savage attack by Muslims during an overnight prayer meeting at a church in Uganda. A group of around 20 Christians had gathered at the church in Kyegegwa district for their regular Friday night prayer session when armed Muslims burst into the building at around 2am. Please pray for all who mourn for Beatrice and that the assailants will be brought to justice. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 14 hours ago

    • Churches in Christian-majority Burundi are facing the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government because of a new law passed in August that requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building. Congregations have a year in which to comply with the new regulations. Although intended to reduce some scandalous practices, the law is strangely reminiscent of the strict regimes of Central Asia. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • “The cathedral in Damaturu now has only about 40 members instead of 450 members. The church in Potiskum now has only about 15 members instead of 500 members… the southern part of [Yobe state] is still very dangerous and most of the churches here have closed down.” A senior church leader in Nigeria wrote to Barnabas Fund in August about the impact on the Church of Boko Haram’s violence. Nevertheless Christians were still holding worship services every Sunday, discipling the young people and even commissioning pastors. Praise God for such perseverance, and pray that a Christian presence and witness may remain in north-east Nigeria. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks