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The five Malatya murder suspects
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Five murder suspects on trial for torturing and killing three Christians in Malatya were released on March 7th. The five are accused of the murders of Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske at a Bible publishing house in April of 2007. (For more information on this case, click here.)

Under a new judicial package passed by the country's parliament in February, the detention limit for suspects on trial who have not yet been convicted was reduced from ten to five years, resulting in the release of the suspects. To track the five men, the Justice Minister has announced that four of the suspects will be electronically tagged, and the fifth monitored using different technology, as the tagging system will not work in the area where his family lives.

Susanne Geske, widow of the German victim Tilmann Geske, admitted that "the thought of meeting one of these men downtown, or at the mall" was something she and her children still living in Malatya would "have to get used to." "We're fine, and my kids are doing well," she continued. "Some in our church here are really upset. But God can do miracles.... And we will keep on loving our enemies."

In the midst of this unsettling news, pray that the families and friends of the murdered Christians will know the peace and very near presence of Jesus. Pray that, like Susanne, they will continue to love their enemies and pray for their persecutors (Matthew 5:44). Lift up the judges, lawyers and other judicial authorities before our Lord, asking Him to grant them wisdom and favour. May the guilty be brought to justice, and may they also come to a saving faith through Jesus Christ.

To learn more about our persecuted brothers and sisters in Turkey, go to the Turkey Country Report.

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Country Information

82,482,383 (July 2021 est.)

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

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

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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