Turkey (MNN) — Three Christian workers at a Christian publishing house were executed in Malatya (mah-LA-tee -ah), Turkey. The company was known for printing and distributing Christian literature and Bibles. The three were attacked Wednesday.
Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton says, “They were tied to chairs and had their throats slit. Two of them died at the scene. The third one apparently died on the way to the hospital after the attack. The Turkish government has announced that 10 people are now in custody.”
The three victims include a German and two Turkish citizens, one of whom was a pastor.
According to Nettleton, this wasn’t a random act of violence. “All of them [were] holding letters that said, ‘We did it for our country. They’re trying to take away our country. They’re trying to take away our religion.’ Very clearly [this was] an attack against Christian witness in Turkey.”
This particular publishing house and the church affiliated with it have been threatened before.
Nettleton says Turkey is trying to get into the European Union. “Because of that, the Turkish government has bent over backwards to present a picture of religious tolerance, a picture
of religious freedom; yet there still is that element of nationalism and radical Islam that is present in the society.”
According to Nettleton, these kinds of attacks come when people are turning to Christ and the church is seeing growth. “That is the case in Turkey,” he says. “We do
know that the church is growing, and obviously that does make enemies of the Gospel nervous. It does make them concerned, and in some cases that leads to violent reactions.”
Voice of the Martyrs is helping in Turkey. They’re evaluating how to help these families. Right now you can help. “There are wives without a husband. There are children who now are left without a father. They need our prayer support.”
On the other hand, Nettleton is also asking people to pray for Muslims in Turkey. “As they read about this case, [pray] that they’ll ask, ‘What were these Christians doing? What was their message? That can lead people to find out more about Christianity and eventually, with the work of the Holy Spirit, can lead them into a relationship with Christ.”