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Many churches in Turkey have seen a drop in attendance due to a prolonged state of emergency.
Many churches in Turkey have seen a drop in attendance due to a prolonged state of emergency.

The Turkish government has extended its state of emergency for an additional period of time, raising concerns of citizens throughout the country. The state of emergency was ordered in July, after 270 people were killed in a failed coup attempt.

Police officers have been commissioned to stand on guard during church services for the protection of worshippers. Yet, as believers feel intimidated by their presence, church attendance has dropped. The state of emergency also prevents church leaders from reaching out to people in the streets as they had formally done. To review other reports on persecution in Turkey, visit our online country profile.

Ask the Lord to strengthen the faith of the Christians in Turkey, also granting their church leaders wisdom so that effective ministry can continue to take place within their communities. May the police officers standing on guard during the various church services be stirred in both heart and spirit as they witness the believers' sincere expressions of praise and worship, and hear the timely messages preached by their pastors. Pray that God will quench any feelings of intimidation or fear by giving His people a renewed sense of assurance, peace and joy -- enabling them to unite together in celebration of His faithfulness and ongoing ministry in each of their lives.

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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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Turkey News

  • Foreign Christian Workers Expelled
    Joy Subasiguller - Photo: Facebook / Joy Subasiguller
    Joy Subaşıgüller and her family
    Photo: Facebook / Joy Subaşıgüller

    Last year, at least thirty-five foreign Christian workers were expelled from Turkey, as their permits had been either revoked or denied renewal. So far this year, the number of those forced to leave the country has already reached si

  • 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 pr

  • Entry Ban on Christian Workers

    For years, Turkey has placed restrictions on religious leadership training. As a result, many pastors in the country have been foreign nationals. However, new visa restrictions are now being placed on foreign religious workers entering the country.

  • Verdict Upheld in Malatya Murder Case
    Ugur Yuksel, Necati Aydin and Tillman Geske
    Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tillman Geske

    On April 18th, 2007, three Christian workers at a publishing house in Malatya, Turkey, were tortured and murdered (see this report). Ultimately five men were convicted and given three consecutive life sentences. Although an appeal was heard on January 23r