Text Book Promotes Religious Discrimination

Country: Turkey

Date of incident: December 31, 2008

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Political



A mandatory school text book on the History of Turkish Republican Reforms and Atatürkism for 13-year-old students encourages religious discrimination in Turkey. The book explains missionary activity “as a threat to national unity," annihilating national and cultural values through converting people to another religion.

The information delivered to Turkish youth depicts missionaries as secret agents who infiltrate the public and use love, peace, brotherhood, freedom, happiness to influence their audience, especially the youth. According to the book the missionaries use foreign financial support for their propaganda and distribute translations of the the Bible for free to infiltrate in the community. Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Advocacy Director Alexa Papadouris said in December 2008: “We are deeply concerned over the destructive content of this compulsory school text book. It is extremely distressing to see that the Turkish Government has not taken proactive steps to address increasing attacks on Christians, but instead continues to promulgate disinformation about the small Christian community. CSW calls on the European Union to urge the Turkish authorities to respect and promote religious freedom for all, at every level in Turkish society, particularly in the media and in educational material. Moreover, we call on the European Union to continue to address with Turkey the issue of violent attacks against religious minorities, seeking guarantees that the perpetrators of violence will be brought to justice through the courts in accordance with due process of law.”  Sources: http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=press&id=813
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=62e_1230502909
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/4d2577062.pdf
http://www.forum18.org/ 
http://www.tarihvakfi.org.tr/english/historyeducation.asp#3