Missionaries Seen as a Threat to the Integrity of the Country

Country: Turkey

Date of incident: March 31, 2011

Missionaries and evangelists in Turkey are perceived as a real threat to both the integrity of the country and to the Muslim religion. Therefore, evangelism is regarded with suspicion and evangelists are sometimes arrested. Non-Muslim religious communities reported that they are personally being attacked. Attacks against churches and cemeteries take place as well.

In late April 2007 the police arrested four street evangelists in Istanbul for "missionary activity," disturbing the peace, and insulting Islam. The claim of insulting Islam was based on a book the evangelists were giving out, which explained that Christians cannot accept the Qur'an because it contradicts some of the teachings of the New Testament. Even more dramatic is the situation of the three Protestants killed in Malatya in April 2007, of the Catholic priest killed in Trabzon in 2006 and of the Bishop Padovese who was murdered in Iskenderun in 2010. The Observatory reported. As these concrete examples show, hate crimes against minority religious communities in Turkey continue to exist. Sources: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/irf/2007/90204.htm http://ec.europa.eu/enlargement/pdf/key_documents/2011/package/tr_rapport_2011_en.pdf