Update from Turkish Christians - May 27

Darrell L. Bock's picture

Well, it has been a while since we heard from the Christians in Turkey and the aftermath of the martyrdom incident. It expresses appreciation.Here is an update from one of the leaders in Turkey about the impact:Dear Friends,It’s been a long few weeks since our last email, and longer since the day we heard that our friends in Malatya had been killed. We thank you for praying for Turkey, for the widows of the slain, and for the Church in Turkey. And thank you for sending out the newsletter to others to pray.Global Prayer for TurkeyChristians in Germany, Korea, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Mongolia, Denmark, Mauritania, Nepal and other countries wrote back to tell us they were praying, and of the impact the deaths of Necati, Ugur and Tilmann had on their lives. We will not know the full impact of the prayers on behalf of Turkey and for Semse and Susanne until we get to heaven. But I know the widows are particularly blessed by knowing their husbands lives and deaths were meaningful to so many people around the world. And they have both urged us to keep spreading the story for the sake of prayers for Turkey.The small Christian community in Turkey was impacted in many ways. But most significantly we’ve seen a boldness and unrelenting eagerness to continue the work that our fallen brothers left unfinished. We have also seen about five people who have come to faith in the past couple months. That is an amazing harvest in this ‘dry and weary land.’Ugur’s Family and Akin’s FamilyLast week, Akin went to Bingol and also to visit Ugur’s family in Elazig. The family was very open about their son’s Christian faith. They even asked for us to send a Bible verse to put on his headstone. They said they were bullied into giving their son a Muslim burial, though they had been against it. That was a blessing to hear, for Ugur’s sake.Something Akin said really impacted me. His family is also from the region of Elazig and he spent a couple days with them. He said that his visit with his family brought home the reality of what the family of God means to his heart. He had no affinity anymore to these people. When he saw his newly born nephew he realized that even the child of his sister could not mean as much to him as Han does. He related with what Christ said,“Who are My mother and My brothers?” Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”He said that over and over, even from his own family, he heard that those who killed Ugur and Necati and Tilmann were IN THE RIGHT for killing our brothers. They deserved to die. Those who know Akin’s story can remember from whence Christ saved Akin and what a miracle his transformation is. 


Thanks Dr. Bock for the update on the Turkish martyrs and their families. It is a shame that this is getting little coverage in the mainstream press. They gave some coverage to Turkish citizens being angered over a possible Muslim president, but it lacked context. I believe that religious persecution against evangelical Christians by Muslims provides the true context. Many, if not most don't want to see a Muslim president in Turkey because such religious murders will become commonplace.

Darrell L. Bock's picture


I am not at all sure this is as simple as you suggest. Turkey is one of the most fascinating social experiments of the last century. Atatürk restructured that society in the 1920s in a way that Turkey is still working to hold onto. The tension between secular Turks and very devout Muslims there is very real, given that most of the country is one or the other. Christians are simply caught in the middle of all of this with no political role. I actually was amazed and pleased that the mainstream press picked up the Christian martyrdom story at all given that Christians are less than 1 % of the Turkish population.

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