Persecution Update March 2013: Turkey

Turkey has long been a secular Muslim nation, but fanatical Islamic factions continue to pursue efforts to drive out the Christian minority population. Pastor Emre Karaali has faithfully served as the pastor of Izmit Protestant Church for 13 years after his conversion from Islam. The small congregation of 20 Turkish believers is miniscule in a city of one million Muslim people, but they were targeted. Over a year ago, two Muslim Turks infiltrated the church, and one of them even submitted to baptism. This past January, the police uncovered a plot to assassinate Pastor Emre and his family, which was orchestrated by these two men plus four other Turks who had visited the church. The plot was discovered just a week before it was going to be carried out. Although Pastor Emre had received a death threat a year ago and now this definite plan to kill him, he has not allowed that to stop him from shepherding his little congregation. He said, “We will continue to do what the Lord asks.” God is to be praised for His protection from these men. Please continue to pray for Pastor Emre and his family. There is an urgent need for grace to persevere for Christ in such a hostile environment.