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Izmit Protestant Church in 2007
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Turkish police recently arrested 14 suspects who allegedly plotted to assassinate Pastor Emre Karaali of Izmit Protestant Church. Two of the suspects were members of the church. According to Turkish media reports, the murder was intended to take place earlier this year during a series of evangelistic outreach meetings.

Although the investigation remains ongoing, police have discovered that the suspects collected personal information including documents, maps of the church and the pastor's home, as well as photos of other preachers who came to the church. In addition to recorded telephone conversations, officers also found two guns in one of the homes they raided. When the network of suspects brought in someone from Diyarbakir (eastern Turkey) to carry out the murder, the anti-terror division became involved. Pastor Emre had been working with police since January 2012 after being repeatedly threatened. (To read further about the challenges believers face in Turkey, check the Turkey Country Report.)

Emre and his wife have served the church for four years in an environment he describes as difficult: "Two years ago I almost lost my life because of my health, but the Lord brought me back to life and He has done this for me again. He protects us, so we believe this means the Lord has work for us to do. We haven't lost our confidence. On the contrary, we feel the Lord is with us because He didn't allow this (assassination) to happen, and we will continue to do what the Lord asks."

Like Pastor Emre Karaali, may we, too, continue to surrender ourselves to our Almighty Father's will. We ask for His ongoing protection on Emre and his family as they persist in doing the work our Lord has begun in and through their dedicated lives. May the hearts of people in this community also be touched by the power of God's transforming love.

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Country Information

Population
82,482,383 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Turkish (70-75), Kurdish (19), other minorities (7-12)

Religion (%)
Islam (99.8), other (0.2)

Leader
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2014)

Government type
Parliamentary republic

Legal system
Civil law system derived from various European continental legal systems

Sources: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Turkey

Prayerfully uphold those who have had their churches and places of worship taken over by a government that does not represent their beliefs, values or ordinances. Ask the Lord to oversee the mediation process as church officials and government representatives endeavour to work out a solution that is both honouring to Him and fair to all the members of the various churches. Despite the challenges experienced by the believers of this country, may they have a sense of God's reassuring presence and peace, knowing that one day He will reign supremely and justly over the entire earth.

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