Christian Korean Evangelist Murdered in Southeast Turkey, Sparking Fears of Persecution Among Christian Community

A Korean evangelist has been murdered in southeast Turkey, sparking fears of persecution among the Christian community, the International Christian Concern reported in a statement.

Jinwook Kim, 41, was stabbed three times on the street in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir on November 19. He later died of his injuries in hospital.

Kim, who had been resident in Turkey for five years, was living in Diyarbakir having moved there earlier this year with his family to pastor a small Christian community. He was married with one child, and another due within days.

Turkish authorities have arrested a 16-year-old in conjunction with the murder, which they say was motivated by robbery. However, the local Christian population is adamant that Kim was targeted due to his faith, and are calling his death a martyrdom.

A Turkish evangelist said that he had received threats the day after the murder. “This wasn’t just a robbery; they came to kill him,” he said. “We always get threats. They know that I am trying to spread the Gospel, so they may target me too. This may be a sign.”

Kim is the first Christian to have been killed in Turkey since the 2007 Zirve Publishing House murders, dubbed the ‘missionary massacres’ by the local press, in which three employees of the Bible publishing house were tortured and killed.

However, Christians in the country say that animosity toward the Christian community has ramped up over the last three years, with harassment and threats on the rise.

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SOURCE: The Jerusalem Post, Donna Rachel Edmunds