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
    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 21 hours ago

    • A Christian from Loynam village in the Savannakhet province of Laos was arrested on the morning of 29 May and tied to a post before being imprisoned. Two weeks earlier, police and village security officers had gone to Mr Sort’s home and threatened him with eviction from the village and confiscation of all his property if he did not give up his faith. He refused, despite repeated attempts to coerce him. The village chief then seized around £300 of Mr Sort’s money. Give thanks that our brother, who has been a Christian for less than two years, has stood firm in his faith, and ask the Lord to renew his courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Iraqi Christians are losing even previously safe havens under the relentless assault of ISIS. On 25 June, the militant group attacked the historic Christian town of Qaraqosh, near Mosul, driving its mainly Christian population of around 40,000 to flee. Many Christians from Mosul had gone there after the fall of their own city earlier in the month. Kurdish forces were able to repel ISIS from the town, allowing some people to return to their homes for the time being, but their security remains extremely precarious. Pray that the ISIS advance will be stopped and that the Iraqi security forces will be able to regain the captured territory. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Heavenly Father, we cry out to You for the Christians left in Mosul, mostly elderly and sick, as they now face the threat of sharia penalties introduced by ISIS: the amputation of limbs for thieves, crucifixion for criminals and the death penalty for apostasy. We pray that You will protect them from the brutality of the militants. We pray for peace and healing for those who have already been threatened or attacked, and for the safe return of those who have been kidnapped. We pray too for those struggling to pay the humiliating jizya tax that the militants have imposed. We ask that the attempt to restore a united Islamic state under one ruler in the cross-border territory controlled by ISIS will come to nothing. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

    • The militant jihadist group ISIS launched a terrifying attack on Mosul, the second city of Iraq, on 6 June. They seized weapons, freed prisoners and looted and torched church buildings. Three days later, police came to senior church leaders there and advised the Christian community to leave. They fled immediately, leaving everything behind as they sought refuge in the Nineveh valley. The following day Mosul fell to the rebels. Barnabas sent emergency aid to support the Christians in their desperate need. The militants then advanced south, prompting Christians also to leave the city of Kirkuk. Pray for provision and protection for our displaced brothers and sisters and that they will find safety in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Aug 2014 00:00

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