Turkey’s church sees trouble ahead. American Pastor Andrew Brunson, testified this week before the US Commission on International Religious Freedom about the coming danger.
Brunson spent two years in prison and house arrest in Turkey, accused of being a ‘terrorist’ by the Erdogan government. He told the commission the same tactic is being used against other foreign Christians to force them to leave the country, and that’s causing hardship for the church.
“The Turkish government does not allow the church to set up training and education programs to develop leaders and one result of this is a lack of trained pastors, so foreigners have helped to fill this gap. Over 50 Protestant families have had to leave the country in recent years,” Brunson said.
“Many churches have been negatively affected, and in Izmir where I served, five churches have lost their senior leaders. To put this in perspective, this is close to half the churches in that city of four million people,” he said.
The Turkish government sees Christian activity such as evangelism and social ministry as a threat to the country, claiming it divides Turks against each other and threatens national unity.
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