November 14, 2019

SYRIA: Christians At Risk

Hovsep Bedoyan
Church leader Hovsep Bedoyan
Photo: Middle East Concern /
Middle East Council of Churches

When American troops pulled out of Syria, and Turkish troops moved in to establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, there were understandable concerns about the safety of the people living in this area. Turkish authorities gave assurances that their forces would not persecute religious minorities, including a significant number of Christians. However, recent reports have indicated otherwise.

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TURKEY: Teacher Dismissed for Social Media Posts

Kusadasi, Turkey
Kusadasi, Turkey
Photo: Wikipedia / jpitha (c)

A Christian teacher has been dismissed from her teaching job after the press accused her of conducting missionary activities through social media. Esma Bağci Kaya had been teaching religion and morality at the Hasan Fatma Onal Anadolu High School, a private school in Kusadasi, for the past two years.

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IRAN: Recent Prisoner Updates

Ismaeil Maghrebinejad
Ismaeil Maghrebinejad
Photo: Middle East Concern

Christians in Iran face constant danger when living out their faith. This is particularly true for those who convert from Islam. For many, faith in Christ leads to torture and imprisonment. More information, including various reports, can be reviewed at our country report.

Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, 65, was taken into custody on January 25th of this year on charges of propaganda against the state (note previous report). In a hearing on October 22nd, charges of apostasy were added by the judge, even though Ismaeil had been a Christian for nearly 40 years. The next court hearing is expected in two months' time.

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