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Pastor Emre

In a nationally high-profile case, Pastor Emre Karaali appeared in court on April 1st in the first trial hearing against 13 people who conspired to murder him.

Turkish police revealed the assassination plot to Pastor Emre in January of 2013 after arresting several of the conspirators. The pastor learned that more than a dozen people, including some who had infiltrated his church and babysat his children, had all been involved in a plan to kill him. (To learn more, please visit this page.)

Nine fellow believers accompanied Pastor Emre to court, but only one, a journalist, was allowed inside the courtroom. The others waited outside and prayed during the two-and-a-half-hour session. The government provided protection for the pastor coming and going from his court appearance.

Only six of the 13 charged in the plot appeared at the trial, in which the judge took Emre's statement. Pastor Emre later shared that the judge "showed a lot of interest in my beliefs. He asked numerous questions.... I was blessed with this wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with him."

As the trial proceeded, three of the defendants asked the pastor to forgive them. In their testimony, they were apologetic and stated that they did not know what they were getting involved with. According to the pastor, the other defendants "accused me of disrespecting the Quran and of deceiving children's minds."

As Pastor Emre faces his next trial date on June 19th, he requests prayer that the trial will continue to go well and that it will be judged fairly. He also shared that he is holding fast to Isaiah 41:10, which reads: "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand" (NKJV). Pray that God will use Pastor Emre's testimony to impact the lives of those who tried to murder him, as well as the judicial authorities involved in this case.

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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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