Turkiye (MNN) — Radical Islamists in Turkiye are blocking Christians from bringing in earthquake aid. Yet, it is not stopping ministry efforts or the spread of the Gospel.
Turkish church planters supported by FMI provide humanitarian aid all over Turkiye after the earthquake nearly two months ago. They distribute meals, tents, and blankets to quake survivors in the name of Jesus.
Bruce Allen with FMI says, “Anytime that there’s a crisis, the sectarian [and] the religious boundaries evaporate. People just need help.”
Approximately 96% of the population in Turkiye is Muslim. There are only about 200 evangelical churches in the whole country of 85 million people.
Allen says some Muslims prefer to go to the Christians for aid because the Christians will take the time to sit with them and listen, and the goods are of higher quality.
“I am pleased that our partners are providing comfort, relief, guidance, counseling as necessary, but also reflecting the purposes of Jesus Christ so clearly the people that many Muslims are now turning in faith to Jesus Christ.”
One of FMI’s partners, Pastor Enver, was distributing relief supplies to a quake-affected area. He travels 700 miles each way to supply aid to this area.
Allen explains, “The fact that other Muslims would prefer to get help from Christians rather than their fellow Muslims was putting the Islamic foundations to shame and they wanted to stop that. They wanted to stop the Christians.”
“In one area where Enver and his team were serving 150 people a meal, the police came up and pressured them saying, ‘We are carrying out the orders of the district governor commanding you to stop what you’re doing.’”
“The Christians are saying, ‘Why are you stopping us? Who’s going to help these 150 people?’ And the police said, ‘It’s no matter. Just stop. These people can take care of themselves. You leave this place immediately.’
“So we know in some instances, people are being very drawn to the Christians. But because of that, more radical elements in society are saying, ‘We must stop Muslims from making these connections with the Christians.’”
Thankfully, Allen says it was one isolated incident. “But it does remind me of the spiritual dynamic that is at play here. Yes, we’re taking care of people’s physical needs, but there’s a spiritual war being waged for people’s souls too.”
Please pray for wisdom and creativity as pastors and church planters work with authorities.
Now more than ever is a critical time to give to FMI’s quake relief in Turkiye.
This month, a generous donor is matching every dollar donated to FMI’s Hope Stands campaign, up to $50,000.
The matching grant campaign is called Hope Stands. Allen says, “As these people have had their world shaken, they’re finding that hope still stands and it’s in Jesus Christ.”
You can give any time now through the end of April to have your gift doubled.
“If a Mission Network News audience member can make a $250 donation, it automatically gets doubled to $500. If someone’s saying, ‘Yeah, I want to help a family, provide them with a tent, provide them with meals,’ now, their gift to help a family actually gets doubled. They’re helping two families,” Allen says.
“We’ll be able to provide some good resources and facilitate our partners and their relief teams from their churches as they go into the spring and the summer.”
Click here to donate to FMI’s Hope Stands campaign!
Header image courtesy of FMI.